Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Could Better Hearing Delay Dementia?

couple embrace after hearing aids restore lost emotional connection

It’s been reported for some time that hearing loss can impact brain function. Denying sound to parts of the brain that need sound stimulation to function allows those parts to atrophy. Hearing loss has therefore been linked with Alzheimer's and dementia. So does using hearing technologies that deliver sound and stimulate those regions decrease the likelihood of dementia? The tentative answer appears to be yes.

Numerous reports have shown that hearing loss is tied to dementia and Alzheimer's. The denial of sound to certain regions of the brain is thought to allow sections to atrophy and may help contribute to these conditions. Although common sense would tell us that supplying sound to these regions would therefore help, up until recently there hasn't been a lot of studies confirming this idea. And many people were in doubt on whether older brains retained enough plasticity for hearing devices to make a difference.

According to an article in Audiology World News, “We now know the brain has a remarkable ability to regrow and adapt itself to process new kinds of information and relearn tasks, especially in early childhood, but across the lifespan.”

Yes the brain is more resilient when it is younger, but it turns out that the brain has a remarkable ability to adapt and develop new neural pathways throughout a person's lifetime. And now there is preliminary evidence that restoring sound to the ears and brain can actually improve not just emotional health--which has been well documented--but help improve damaged physical health.

As noted in Audiology World News, “It’s early days but as the degree of hearing loss is highly correlated with the risk of dementia it seems highly likely that intervention with a hearing device to restore hearing in adulthood could assist in delaying the onset of dementia.”

This short video explains the integration of hearing inside the brain.

Treating hearing loss has been shown to support a more positive, engaged, and active lifestyle and it turns out it can even make thinking easier! If you'd like to find out more about what hearing aids can do to help you, visit your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!


Hearing Technologies Could Play an Important Role in Delaying Dementia, Audiology Worldnews taken on April 28, 2015 from http://www.audiology-worldnews.com/news/922-hearing-technologies-could-p...

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