McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Women with hearing loss laughing on park bench.

That hearing loss can impact your brain has been established in numerous studies. (Just take a look at some of our past blog posts.) Fortunately, it’s also been shown that you can recover some of that cognitive ability through hearing aids.

This is not to imply that hearing aids are in some way going to make you smarter. But there’s some compelling research that suggests hearing aids can enhance cognitive abilities, lowering your risk for anxiety, depression, and dementia.

You Accomplish a Lot of Hearing With Your Brain

It’s important to realize how large a part your brain plays in hearing if you are going to comprehend the link between cognition and your ears. It’s the brain’s task to transform sound vibrations into recognizable sound information. So as your hearing wanes, the regions of your brain that interpret those sounds suddenly have much less to do.

When combined with other variables (like social isolation), the alterations in your brain (and hearing) can trigger the onset of specific mental health issues. Anxiety, depression, and dementia are a lot more noticeable in individuals who have neglected hearing loss.

Your effectively “treating” your hearing loss when you’re using hearing aids. That means:

  • You can keep your hearing from getting worse by using hearing aids along with regular screening.
  • Your brain stays healthier if it continues working; your brain will be getting a more frequent workout in the parts responsible for hearing.
  • Social isolation won’t be as likely. Conversations will be easier to understand and follow, so you’ll be more likely to engage.

Keeping You on Your Toes

Hearing aids stimulate your brain and your social life and can prevent depression, anxiety, and dementia.

  • The health of your inner ear: Hearing loss in and of itself will not cause inner ear injury. But there is often a common cause for both loss of hearing and inner ear damage. So treating the one can help you treat the other, and in many situations, a hearing aid is a component of that treatment routine.
  • New technology: Hearing aids have begun containing unique technology that is able to alert emergency contacts (or emergency services) when a person wearing the hearing aids experiences a fall. This may not prevent the fall to begin with, but it can prevent lasting injuries or complications due to the fall.
  • Creating stronger awareness: Sometimes, you fall because you’re not aware of your surroundings. Decreased hearing ability can substantially lessen your situational awareness. Not only can it be challenging to hear sounds, but it can also be a challenge to determine what direction sounds are coming from. A fall or other injury can be the result.

The truth is, you have a higher chance of avoiding a fall when you’re wearing hearing aids. A hearing aid keeps you more alert, more aware, and more connected, enhancing cognitive abilities and general health at the same time.

Stop Ignoring Your Hearing Aid

We haven’t even yet dealt with the fundamental hearing advantages of hearing aids. So when you take that amplified hearing, factor in the mental health benefits and physical well-being, it seems like wearing these devices should be an easy decision (not something you need to put your thinking cap on for).

The problem is that many people don’t know they have hearing loss. It can be difficult to identify loss of hearing when it happens gradually over time. That’s the reason why having a normal hearing test is important. A wide range of other health issues can be aggravated by loss of hearing.

Hearing aids will lessen the likelihood of physical damage while helping to delay dementia and depression. That’s an impressive mix of benefits that hearing aids offer, and they also help you hear.