Want to improve brain health? Here's how.
Want to improve your brain health? Here’s how.
Hearing aids! Yes, hearing aids can help improve your overall health and well-being. The latest hearing devices have huge benefits to improve hearing. However, here are some other ways hearing aids can improve your life that you probably were not aware of.
Bulk up your brain power:
The use of hearing aids can help improve brain function and working memory. When you experience hearing loss, the signals being sent to the brain are degraded due to the hearing loss, so the brain must work harder to make sense of them.
However, the brain only has a finite amount of energy. This results in pulling energy from other places, like memory, thinking and concentration. When people can hear, it frees up other resources in the brain that can be used for other cognitive function.
People who cannot hear well are simply less aware of what is going on around them, which makes them more likely to collide with a careless passerby or get tripped up by a family pet.
Also, balance requires brain power. Problem is, people with hearing loss use more of that gray matter to hear, which means that there are few mental resources left to help stay upright. Research conducted by the National Institute of Aging found that even people with mild hearing loss can triple your risk of taking a tumble.
Improve your mood and strengthen relationships:
Hearing disorders are associated with depression in a survey done by the National Council on Aging. The survey was conducted on 2,300 hearing-impaired adults, age 50 and older, found that those with untreated hearing loss are more likely to battle depression and anxiety than those who use hearing aids.
People are social animals and communication is key to maintaining friendships and relationships with family members. Hearing loss can limit social encounters by disrupting the flow of conversation and making any kind of spontaneity nonexistent.
Hearing loss can take a toll on your marriage as well. The load shifts to the people who are around you, which is usually your spouse or partner. Since it takes a lot of energy to do the work of frequently repeating oneself, the spouse eventually stops doing it.
Furthermore, hearing loss leads to isolation, which can then lead to loneliness and depression.
Decrease your risk of dementia:
Researchers from Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging found that older adults with hearing loss are nine times more likely to develop dementia that those who retain their hearing. This could be linked to several factors.
1) A constant strain of having to decipher sounds over the years overwhelms the brains of people with hearing loss, leaving them vulnerable to dementia.
2) Those who cannot hear well become socially isolated, leading to less mental stimulation and eventually cognitive loss.
3) Hearing loss results in tissue loss in the hearing portion of the brain, which is also responsible for functions, such as memory, thinking and learning.
Bolster your bottom line:
When you do not treat hearing loss, it can hurt your bank account. A national survey done by the Better Hearing Institute found that people with hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids lose as much as $12,000 in income annually, depending on the degree of hearing loss.
Furthermore, a longitudinal study conducted by Johns Hopkins over a period of two years, showed that people who had hearing loss and no hearing aids spent an average of $22,000 more in medical expenses over the course of two years. Some of these expenses are due to falls, cognitive decline and patient confusion.
Furthermore, a study conducted by University of Michigan found that older adults who wear hearing aids are less likely to go to the hospital or emergency room and those who get hospitalized had shorter stays.
We hope that this article was helpful in illustrating how beneficial hearing aids can be to your overall health. Should you have additional questions about this article or any one of our posts, feel free to contact our office (630) 858-3277 to set up a free consult with one of our Audiologists.