People with hearing loss (especially in the older age range) tend to experience greater risk of cognitive decline especially if they having severe hearing loss.
One of the reasons is that for a person with hearing loss, more cognitive resources are being used to understand spoken words rather than recall memories or complete other mental functions, memory and thus, that might cause a lot of mental resources to be used up and thereby causing fatigue.
Another reason is that the risk of dementia increases in those who have experienced social isolation, often due to hearing loss.
Today, we will discuss some creative ways that one can take to keep their mind active and engaged even with hearing loss.
1. Wear Your Hearing Aids
The number one thing that you can ensure is to wear your hearing aids regularly, and avoid taking them out for prolonged period of time (unless you are asleep).
The main reason we are required to wear our glasses and hearing aids full time is that without them the auditory areas of the brain do not receive adequate stimulation.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
A healthy amount of sleep is necessary for our brains to adapt, change and grow. The brain consolidates memories while we sleep. When we do not get enough rest, the ability for it to remember new information for future use is impeded.
If you want to improve the way your body functions, sleeping 7 hours each night is recommended. Without that many hours of sleep, our ability to function decreases.
3. Learn a new skill
A study shows that learning new things and/or stepping outside of our comfort zone forces the brain to make new neural connections, strengthening the brain.
Myelin acts as insulation around neural tissue, allowing for electrical messages to travel much faster from one place to the other through out the body and brain.
According to recent research, once we learn new skills and engage in novel activities our brain activity strengthens. This is because when we learn something, our brains change from the bottom up by increasing myelin in the white matter of our cerebral cortex.
4. Take Dark Chocolate (In Moderation)
Dark chocolate contains high levels of cocoa, which is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress – they also contribute to the natural processes of aging.
5. Make fish a regular part of your diet
By trying new fish, you are not only cooking something delicious but also strengthening your brain.
6. Use Your Secondary Hand To Complete Tasks
Although you may find yourself spending more time than usual on basic tasks like brushing your teeth or opening the door, giving your brain extra practice at completing these complex tasks with your other hand will help it learn new skills.
7. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity can reduce your stress levels and increase the size of your hippocampus, which is associated with memory.
8. Engage In Memory Exercises
Playing games that require you to recall information improves memory, attention span, processing speed and therefore will influence your hearing capacity in crowded places.