Hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, exceeding that of smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and social isolation.
A large study has documented that even among people with so-called normal hearing, those with only slightly poorer hearing than perfect can experience cognitive deficits.
Cognitive deficit means a diminished ability to get top scores on standardised tests of brain function, eg; matching numbers with symbols within a specified time period.
But while you may never need to do that, you most likely do want to maximise and maintain cognitive function. That is your ability to think clearly, plan rationally and remember accurately, especially as one gets older.
The wisest course may well be to minimise and delay them as long as possible and in doing so, reduce the risk of dementia.
The analysis indicated that treating hearing loss in midlife has the potential to diminish the incidence of dementia by 9 per cent.
Difficulty hearing can impair brain function by keeping people socially isolated and inadequately stimulated by aural input.
The harder it is for the brain to process sound, the more it has to work to understand what it hears, depleting its ability to perform other cognitive tasks.
Memory is adversely affected as well as information that is not heard clearly impairs the brain’s ability to remember it. An inadequately stimulated brain tends to atrophy.
NewsAsia, C. (2020, January 5). To avoid dementia and maintain brain health, preserve your hearing. Retrieved from https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/wellness/preserve-hearing-for-brain-health-12221424
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