Hearing loss is an invisible disability that affects millions of people around the world. It is also one of the highest risk factors that lead to dementia. It is often associated with aging, but it can also be caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxicity (medications that cause hearing damage), and certain medical conditions. One of the potential consequences of hearing loss is cognitive decline, which is a term used to describe a decline in mental abilities such as memory, problem-solving, and thinking. This may be particularly concerning for older adults, as hearing loss is often connected to aging and cognitive decline is a common part of the aging process.
Another way in which hearing loss may lead to cognitive decline is by reducing the stimulation of the brain, which makes it more difficult to register and comprehend the sounds you’re listening to. When people have hearing loss, their brain has to work harder and when it does, it may become less efficient and may not function as well as it normally would. This can lead to a reduction in the amount of activity in the brain, losing your mental sharpness. Cognitive overload causes straining to understand speech and sound.
There are several other factors in which hearing loss may contribute to cognitive decline. One of the main ways is through social isolation. When people have hearing loss, they may find it difficult to engage in conversations with others and may therefore avoid social situations. This lack of fulfilling relationships and a sense of belonging leads to isolation. The isolation leads to a higher risk of making bad habits like:
- Poor eating
- Smoking and alcohol use
- Lack of exercise
- Lower quality of sleep
- Heart disease
Overall, there is some evidence to suggest that hearing loss is independently associated with cognitive decline and may even lead to it, particularly in older adults. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between these two conditions, but it is clear that taking steps to prevent and address hearing loss is important for maintaining cognitive health.
One of these steps includes sound therapy. Sound therapy helps stimulate the inner ear hair cells. Stimulating these hair cells may lead to higher sound sensitivity, thus helping individuals better locate and hear sounds more clearly. Our app AudioCardio offers data and science-backed sound therapies tailor-made to maintain and strengthen your hearing by stimulating the cells inside your ears. Taking care of your hearing health is fundamental when it comes to brain health. Why not consider trying it for yourself for a better quality of life?