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Hearing Loss and Dementia: How are they connected?

3 Things You Should Know About Hearing Loss and the Brain

Your brain health is a critical piece of your overall health and keeping it as healthy as it can be is important to maintaining your quality of life. That includes understanding what your brain does and how to protect it. You probably think about your brain when it comes to memory, critical thought, and your sight, but did you know your brain is primarily responsible for your hearing?

Here’s what you should know about the connections between hearing loss and your brain:

Hearing Loss is a Risk Factor for Developing Dementia

People who experience moderate to severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia. It’s thought that hearing loss increases how fast your brain atrophies, and the social isolation, lack of stimulation, and increased stress can contribute to developing dementia.

Hearing Loss Puts Stress on Your Brain

Your brain is responsible for a lot of your hearing. It deciphers sounds and retains the information coming in. When you have hearing loss, your brain works a lot harder to pick up information and helpful sounds. This causes a significant amount of stress on your brain that potentially contributes to dementia.

Hearing Loss Can Negatively Impact Mental Health

Hearing loss can cause you to feel disconnected from the world around you, especially in conversations with friends and family. You might miss important details and start to withdraw from conversations, so it can lead to depression and anxiety.

The thought of hearing loss potentially leading to dementia can be scary, but there are steps you can take to help. You can protect your current level of hearing by avoiding loud noises and wearing hearing protection when noise is unavoidable. The best way to help your hearing loss is by visiting a local hearing health professional. If you’re not currently experiencing hearing loss, having a baseline hearing test can set you up for success in the future. If you are experiencing hearing loss, a hearing health professional may be able to fit you with hearing aids to treat your hearing loss and help you connect with the world around you.

Are you experiencing hearing loss? Call our office today to schedule your appointment so we can start helping you hear better.