Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline
As we age, several things deteriorate simultaneously. These include our agility, our hearing, and even our cognitive skills. Having hearing loss has even been shown to lead to dementia and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Johns Hopkins University recently conducted a study which explored the effects of hearing loss on dementia and cognitive deterioration. The results indicated that those with hearing loss had a rapid decline in cognitive skills, where their cognitive abilities deteriorated 30-40% quicker than those who had regular hearing. The results also found that the more severe the hearing loss, the faster the rate of cognitive decline. In fact, those with severe hearing loss had five times the likelihood of developing dementia.
Hearing loss has already been investigated by numerous other studies that have found it to be linked to dementia. Apart from cognitive deterioration, hearing loss can also lead to decline in psychological health. Those with hearing loss tend to have higher rates of stress, depression, and anxiety, compared to those with normal hearing.
The findings of the Johns Hopkins study above have been replicated several times by various other institutions in a number of different countries. Each of these studies has found the same thing: Hearing loss results in cognitive decline. That is the message that is found over and over, reverberating all over the world.
The fact that these findings keep repeating themselves only indicates one thing: Hearing health is important. The more we neglect it, the more we suffer in our old age as we become prone to dementia. It is up to us to take good care of our hearing while we still can. Hearing loss is irreversible, so start protecting your hearing today. Always engage in auditory protection before exposing yourself to loud noises. If you feel you have signs of hearing loss, get your hearing tested by an audiologist immediately.