A Dreaded Battle: the worst way to lose yourself
These facts are not intended to scare you; this information is to inform you about the very real possibility that coincides with each of these disorders. Miracle-Ear has made it their mission to educate the community about hearing health, break down barriers and misconceptions about hearing loss, and inform the community of the additional health complications caused by hearing loss, in order to help give you some possible solutions that can safe guard yourself in the long run.
Now that we’ve established what Dementia is, what contributes to it?
This study conducted by Johns Hopkins linking hearing loss to Dementia and Alzheimer’s lists three theories on how hearing loss may contribute to this condition.
- If the brain is constantly coping with degraded sounds, its resources are dedicated to processing those sounds, to the detriment of other processes like memory & thinking.
- Hearing impairment may directly contribute to accelerated rates of atrophy in parts of the brain that process sound.
- Social Isolation. People who have a hard time hearing often withdraw because it’s so difficult to communicate with others. Numerous studies have found that a loss of engagement and loneliness are risk factors for cognitive decline.
3 tips to battle against Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Get your hearing checked annually. Many people have not had their hearing checked since their school days. As part of our community outreach, Miracle-Ear will test everyone annually at no charge. It is important for people to have a baseline and know what their normal hearing level is, test it annually and as soon as you begin to notice a change you can deal with it head on.
- Stay active. If you are experiencing hearing loss, the natural response is to want to socially withdraw because it is more comfortable. You may have problems hearing your friends speak with background noise in the restaurant or coffee shop. You may have trouble understanding conversations at family gatherings if there are several conversations going on around you. The worst thing you can do is withdraw from this activity. Social activities keep your brain stimulated and your processing sharp. If you withdraw you are at risk of accelerating cognitive decline. See your hearing care provider and talk about what solutions are available to help you hear better in those situations.
- Protect the hearing you have left. Although you are experiencing hearing loss, it doesn’t mean you are a lost cause. Use hearing protection when you will be exposed to loud sounds for more than 15 minutes. Everyday sounds that can harm or cause further damage to your hearing are motorcycles, lawnmowers, power equipment and tools, live bands or loud music, loud work environments that power heavy machinery, gunshots, sirens, heavy traffic, etc. You can protect your hearing by wearing disposable ear plugs, custom molded ear plugs, or sound cancelation ear muffs.