Link Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive Function

brain2Did you know that you actually “hear” with your brain, not with your ears? When you are listening to someone speak, your brain is processing the sound so that you can understand it.

If you have a hearing loss, even a mild one, the speech signals you are trying to understand when listening are degraded, which means your brain has to work harder to process those sounds. As a result, other tasks like memory and comprehension can suffer.

Researchers and hearing care professionals have long understood the link between cognition and hearing acuity. When you have a hearing loss, the hearing areas of the brain become weaker and areas of the brain that are necessary for higher level thinking compensate for the weaker areas, leaving them unavailable to do their primary job.

Recent studies out of Johns Hopkins show that hearing loss is associated with brain tissue loss and accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. Individuals with mild hearing loss were found to be twice as likely to develop dementia, those with moderate hearing loss were three times as likely, and those with severe hearing loss were five times as likely to develop dementia when compared to individuals with normal hearing.

hear3Fortunately, according to the Better Hearing Institute, 95 percent of Americans with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. Hearing aids help process incoming sound, making it easier for your brain to understand them. They provide the sound stimulation needed for the brain to restore the normal organization of connections to its “sound center” so it can more readily react to the sounds that it had been missing and cognitively process them.

Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping people of all ages improve cognitive skills. Our customized brain fitness programs take brain performance, including critical thinking skills, to new levels by strengthening nerve cells and improving cognitive power and concentration. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

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