An increasing amount of research on hearing loss draws links between it and an elevated risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. This is critical when it comes to dealing with people who refuse a hearing aid despite hearing loss because they fail to recognize that they are doing more than just causing damage to their ears.
The risk of dementia
Less than a decade ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore initiated a study on older adults, some of whom had some hearing loss, and followed them for a period of 15 years. Results at the end of that study showed a strong association between signs of dementia and loss of hearing, with those suffering from the severest hearing loss at the greatest risk of getting dementia.
Similar research published in recent years confirms those findings, as experts believe hearing loss contributes to mental decline on account of the cognitive load on the brain. As one struggles to hear, one is compelled to work harder to understand sounds, taking away resources for other critical brain functions. Some neurologists also believe that hearing impairment may trigger structural changes in the brain itself.
How hearing loss treatment helps
Scientists are still examining whether hearing loss treatment can help prevent dementia or, at the very least, slow its advance. There are definitive studies underway, and some researchers are examining other strategies such as music lessons that may reinforce the brain's ability to process sound. These studies are of enormous importance given that approximately one-quarter of people over 50 have some degree of hearing loss and need hearing loss treatment.
A lot of hearing loss is gradual, which is why people don't get a hearing test as often as they should. These tests are the best way to find out more about what hearing loss treatment can work though, and should be administered by qualified professionals.
Here is something a lot of people aren’t aware of: Hearing loss can be a surprisingly gradual process, because your hearing can deteriorate very slowly, almost without you noticing. Self-diagnosis is never a good idea, not only because a professional is more qualified to conduct a hearing test but because our brains tend to adjust to hearing loss on their own, making it difficult to recognize a problem until it reaches an advanced stage. There are different types of hearing aids in Brockville that can help, but the first thing to do is look for signs of hearing loss.
What to look out for
One of the first signs of hearing loss is asking family and friends to repeat things. Turning up the television or music player to a volume that others may find disturbing is also a common sign, as is a loss of enjoyment at social activities that involve spending time with groups. When any of these things happen, it is important to get a hearing test as soon as possible. They are easy to do and take approximately half an hour, after which you can find out more about hearing aids in Brockville.
Hearing aids available
Some people avoid hearing aids because they assume these are only for older people. In fact, almost 65% of people with hearing loss are younger than 65. Hearing aids can slow cognitive decline tied to hearing loss, while the costs can differ dramatically depending on whether you speak to a clinic or shop for them online yourself, so it is important to get advice from a reliable source. Some people refuse hearing aids because of aesthetic reasons, even though advances in technology now make tiny, discrete hearing aids possible.
Contact Thousand Islands Hearing
For information on hearing loss and hearing aids in Brockville, contact our independent hearing clinic dedicated to helping Ontarians overcoming all kinds of hearing-related challenges. For a hearing test, please get in touch with us for an appointment as soon as possible.