News & Information

Mar 15 2018

The impact of hearing loss on the brain

For Brain Awareness Week (March 12-18) we thought we would highlight the impact of hearing loss on cognitive function. Several studies in recent years have shown a link between cognitive decline and hearing loss, with higher risks of dementia in people with hearing loss, especially untreated.

Researchers believe one of the main reasons for this is social isolation. The more isolated we become the greater the risk of cognitive impairment. When people suffer from untreated hearing loss they tend to retreat from social interactions or sit quietly, not hearing much of what is being said.

Other reachers have pointed to cognitive overload. The brain must work harder to decipher speech when untreated hearing loss is present, and this may make us more susceptible to cognitive impairment.

Whatever the reason for the link, it is clear that untreated hearing loss can lead to higher risk of cognitive impairment. In fact, MRI scans consistently show that individuals with hearing loss lose brain tissue more quickly than those with normal hearing. The tissue loss is most pronounced in the areas of the brain that process hearing and speech.

Further studies are looking into the heart of the link between these two conditions. For now it seems clear that treating hearing loss early has benefits for our overall health and cognitive function.

For more information or to schedule a consultation please contact Accurate Hearing at one of our convenient locations:

 

Lower Sackville: 252-3004

Cole Harbour: 902-406-4327

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