Your hearing is an incredibly important sense. Not only does it allow you to stay connected to the sounds around you, but it also impacts other facets of your life. If your hearing is affected over time, it may play a factor in your memory as you age.
What are the early signs of hearing loss?
Before diving into how hearing loss affects your hearing, it’s critical to look at early symptoms in order to mitigate the condition early. Eric Tyler, AuD, a CEENTA audiologist who practices out of their SouthPark office, explains some of the more common symptoms of hearing loss. “If you or someone you know is dealing with the following:
– Muffled sounds
– Difficulty grasping words and sentences
– Social withdrawal
– Tinnitus (ear ringing)
they may be experiencing hearing reduction.”
How is hearing loss linked to memory loss?
As previously mentioned, your hearing is more than just a way to pick up sounds. Hearing is also vital for learning and memory retention. Reduction in hearing can cause the brain to work harder in order to fill memory gaps, which can result in poor cognitive functioning in other areas. In fact, studies have pointed to hearing loss being a factor in atrophy of the brain. Similar studies have pointed to a correlation between patients with Alzheimer’s disease and a previous diagnosis of hearing loss. Those with reduced hearing were between two to five times more likely to develop dementia depending on the severity of the hearing loss.
What are preventative steps to reduce dementia if you have hearing loss?
That said, being diagnosed with hearing loss is not a definitive statement of developing Alzheimer’s. To mitigate this from happening, you can stay engaged with others socially and continue to receive mental stimulation with fun activities that promote learning, such as reading or picking up hobbies.
One of your best steps is to receive hearing aids, and that includes a proper hearing evaluation from an audiologist. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with hearing loss or you believe someone you know may have trouble hearing sounds, put your trust in CEENTA. Their hearing specialists offer comprehensive hearing tests and can recommend the right hearing aids that are suitable for your lifestyle. To schedule an appointment with a CEENTA audiologist, call 704-295-3300.