Taking care of your hearing and vision slows cognitive decline by 50-75

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D. Hearing Health

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

Cognitive decline is a natural part of aging. Still, it can be scary and overwhelming for those experiencing it. It can lead to memory loss, difficulty communicating, and even dementia. Fortunately, there are ways to slow down cognitive decline, and taking care of your hearing and vision are two critical steps.

Cognitive decline and dementia

As we age, our brains naturally lose some of their ability to function at their best. This can lead to cognitive decline, manifesting as difficulty remembering things, solving problems, and language difficulties. In some cases, cognitive decline can be more severe and can lead to conditions such as dementia.

Dementia is caused by damage to the brain. This damage can be caused by various factors, including brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and other medical conditions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. As the brain is damaged, it loses its ability to function correctly, leading to the symptoms of dementia.

While cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, there are ways to slow it down and prevent it from progressing to dementia. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, and staying mentally active, can help keep the brain healthy and prevent cognitive decline. Regular medical check-ups and treating medical conditions affecting the brain, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can also help prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

But it’s not just the standard health advice that is recommended. According to a recent study, taking care of your hearing and vision can slow cognitive decline by 50-75%. This is significant, and it shows just how important it is to maintain these senses as we age.

The study

A study by the University of Michigan in the U.S. and the University of Manchester in the U.K. found that cognitive decline was slowed by 75% just by wearing hearing aids. As part of the University of Michigan’s Health & Retirement Study, the study was done on about 2,000 older Americans whose hearing was checked every two years for 18 years.

Several tests, like remembering 10 words, were used to determine how bright the participants were. One measurement was taken right after the words were read aloud, and another after the people had done other small tasks (to distract them from the phrase memorization). The rate of loss was 75% slower in people with hearing aids than in people without hearing aids.

A study done by the same group that did the hearing study found that cataract surgery can slow cognitive decline by 50%. About 5,000 people in their 60s took part in the survey. Of those, 2,068 had cataract surgery, and 3,636 did not have cataracts. After 13 years of testing, the cognitive decline slowed in people with cataract surgery. They started to think more like those in the control group who didn’t have cataracts. Even though people should expect it to get worse as they age, this is good news in the fight against dementia.

How do your vision and hearing abilities affect cognitive performance?

One of the reasons why hearing and vision treatments can help slow cognitive decline is that they can improve communication and social interaction. Communicating and connecting with others as we age can be challenging, leading to isolation and loneliness. By enhancing our hearing and vision, we can better engage with those around us, which can help maintain cognitive function.

Getting your hearing and vision checked is an excellent place to start if you are concerned about cognitive decline and want to take steps to slow it down. Our hearing practice offers a range of hearing and vision treatments that can help improve your communication and social interaction, prevent falls, and maintain cognitive function.

Scheduling a consultation with our hearing practice is easy and convenient. We will provide you with a comprehensive hearing and vision evaluation and recommend the right treatments. Our team of experienced professionals will be with you every step of the way, providing support and guidance as you take control of your cognitive health.

Taking care of your hearing and sight can slow down cognitive decline and reconnect with your loved ones. Contact our hearing practice today to schedule your consultation and get your hearing and vision tested. Please don’t wait until it’s too late to take action.