Hearing Loss and Dementia: The Effect of Sound on the Brain
Staying mentally sharp is a vital skill as we age and our hearing can play a large role in helping us to do so. From detecting the simplest sounds to performing the most complex listening activities, your brain is responsible for making sense of everything you hear.
To interpret sounds correctly, the information our brain receives must be as accurate and as detailed as possible. If it’s noisy when there are many people talking at once, when we are learning new things, or when we’re tired, we must pay closer attention to hear and understand. Challenging situations and hearing difficulties interfere with this process.
Of all the sounds we hear, speech is probably the most important to us. There are many different components of speech we interpret to derive meaning, from intonations of pitch, to differing levels of volume.
For most, listening to these and registering them is an automatic process. However, sometimes we need to focus and really strain to be able to hear. Demanding situations such as noisy rooms and hearing loss increases the demands on our brain. An entire day of this can be exhausting and demoralising.
Hearing also helps to stay socially active, allowing us to communicate and build relationships.
Without this wonderful ability, we can become isolated – a known risk factor for dementia. Hearing loss can also exacerbate pre-existing symptoms of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
You and Your Healthy Brain
If you have a hearing loss, no matter how mild or moderate you must act quickly. Early detection can result in a much better prognosis and reduce the amount of strain we put on our brains later in life.
Experience better hearing with less effort, by choosing a hearing solution that supports you. Our audiologist is fully qualified to assist you through the process and provide valuable advice.