by Dr. A. Heffner
Have you ever heard someone say, “you hear with your brain, not your ears?”. Adults with hearing loss experience significantly faster decline in cognitive abilities than those with normal hearing. Research has also found that older people with hearing difficulty are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. There are several reasons that this can occur; one is that the brain is having to work much harder when trying to understand conversation and sound, resulting in a brain that has a harder time functioning. Another reason involves stimulation. When the brain is not experiencing the same speech and sounds that it once did, brain cells can actually shrink and lose certain abilities. Lastly, many people with hearing loss tend to isolate themselves, which will result in less overall brain stimulation.
Luckily, there is a solution. We can strengthen the connection from our ears to our brain by properly treating a hearing loss with hearing devices. The key is not to let the hearing loss go untreated over time- early intervention is so important. The first step is scheduling a hearing evaluation, which will allow us to diagnose a hearing issue and discuss how we can maintain hearing and brain health. We hope to see you soon!