Dementia Can be Slowed Down by Having Hearing Loss Treated

“Woman

Susan always recognized that after she retired she would be living an active lifestyle. She travels a lot and at 68 she’s been to more than a dozen countries and is planning a lot more trips. On some days she can be found investigating a hiking trail with her grandkids, on others she will be volunteering at a local soup kitchen, and sometimes you will see her out enjoying the lake.

Doing and seeing new things is what Susan’s all about. But at times, Susan can’t help but be concerned about how dementia or cognitive decline could completely change her life.

When Susan’s mother was around her age she began to show the first signs of mental decline. Susan watched her mother, who she had always loved and respected, struggle more and more with everyday tasks over a 15 year period. She forgets random things. Eventually, she could only recognize Susan on a good day.

Susan has tried to eat a healthy diet and exercise so she could hopefully avoid what her mother experienced. But she wonders, is she doing enough? Is there anything else she can do that’s been shown to delay cognitive decline and dementia?

Luckily, there are things that can be done to stave off cognitive decline. Three of them are listed here.

1. Get Exercise

This one was already part of Susan’s day-to-day life. She does try to get the suggested amount of exercise every day.

Individuals who do modest exercise every day have a decreased risk of mental decline according to many studies. These same studies show that individuals who are already coping with some form of mental decline also have a positive effect from consistent exercise.

Here are a number of reasons why scientists believe consistent exercise can ward off cognitive decline.

  1. Exercise decreases the deterioration of the nervous system that typically happens as a person ages. Without these nerves, the brain won’t know how to process memories, communicate with the body, or consider how to do things. Exercise slows this deterioration so researchers think that it could also slow cognitive decline.
  2. Neuroprtection factors might be increased with exercise. There are mechanisms in your body that safeguard some cells from harm. Scientists think that a person who exercises might produce more of these protectors.
  3. Exercise lowers the danger of cardiovascular disease. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells in the brain. If cardiovascular disease stops this blood flow, cells die. By keeping the vessels and heart healthy, exercise may be able to slow down dementia.

2. Have Vision Concerns Treated

An 18-year study of 2000 individuals with cataracts, showed that having cataract surgery halved the occurrence of cognitive decline in the group who had them removed.

Preserving healthy eyesight is essential for mental health in general even though this research only focused on one common cause of eyesight loss.

Losing eyesight at an older age can cause a person to withdraw from their circle of friends and stop doing things they love. Further studies have investigated connections between social separation and advancing dementia.

If you have cataracts, don’t just disregard them. If you can take measures to sharpen your vision, you’ll also be protecting yourself against the advancement of dementia.

3. Get Hearing Aids

You may be heading towards cognitive decline if you have neglected hearing loss. The same researchers in the cataract study gave 2000 different participants who had hearing loss a hearing aid. They used the same methods to test for the progression of mental decline.

They got even more impressive results. Cognitive decline was reduced by 75% in the people who were given hearing aids. So the dementia symptoms they were already experiencing simply stopped.

There are some probable reasons for this.

The social aspect is the first thing. People who have neglected hearing loss tend to socially seclude themselves because they have a hard time interacting with their friends at social clubs and events.

Second, when somebody slowly starts to lose their hearing, the brain forgets how to hear. If the person waits years to get a hearing aid, this degeneration advances into other parts of the brain.

As a matter of fact, researchers have actually compared the brains of people with untreated hearing loss to people who use hearing aids using an MRI. The brain actually shrinks in people with untreated hearing loss.

That’s definitely not good for your memory and mental capabilities.

Stave off dementia by wearing your hearing aids if you have them. If you’re putting off on getting a hearing aid, even with hearing loss, it’s time to call us for a hearing exam. Learn how you can hear better with modern technological advancements in hearing aids.



References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3258000/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/10/11/hearing-aids-slow-dementia-75-new-study-finds/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6581941/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764000/
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
https://www.helpingmehear.com/hearing-aids-facts/

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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