The Unspoken Connection: Understanding How Untreated Hearing Loss Impacts Cognitive Health

It has always been important to look after your hearing, but if anyone needed another reason, this is surely it.

There are always new discoveries being made within the realm of health and well-being, and recently a disquieting realization has emerged: untreated hearing loss can significantly affect one’s cognitive well-being.

Numerous studies have been supporting this link, and as our population ages, this becomes an increasingly pressing issue.

It has always been important to look after your hearing, but if anyone needed another reason, this is surely it.

The Landmark Study That Is a Wake-Up Call

Last December, CNN Health broadcast the results of a monumental study published in JAMA Neurology. This research, which included a staggering 137,484 participants from across the world, is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the subject of untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline.

Critical Findings You Can’t Afford to Ignore

1. Hearing Aids as a Cognitive Saver:

The use of hearing aids was found to be associated with a 19% reduction in long-term cognitive decline. “Dementia is far easier to prevent than treat,” noted Dr. Benjamin Tan, one of the senior authors of the study.

2. Early or Late, You Can Still Benefit:

Even those with early-stage dementia benefitted from using hearing aids, demonstrating approximately a 20% lower risk of progression into more severe stages of cognitive decline.

Are We Neglecting Our Auditory Health?

It’s perplexing to see how, despite the meticulous care we put into dental, vision, and overall physical health, auditory health often falls by the wayside. And as the data linking hearing loss to cognitive issues becomes increasingly robust, the need for prioritizing our auditory health has never been greater.

Bridging the Gap: Cognivue Cognitive Screening at South Sound Audiology

At South Sound Audiology, we’ve gone the extra mile in understanding that hearing loss and cognitive decline are two sides of the same coin. To offer a comprehensive healthcare solution, we provide Cognivue Cognitive Screening.

The Unique Benefits of Cognivue Screening:

  • Quick Assessments: The entire screening process takes approximately 10 minutes.
  • Non-Invasive: No discomfort, just a simple, straightforward test.
  • Instant Results: Get your results immediately after the screening, helping you take
  • proactive steps faster.

The Four Pillars of Connection between Hearing and Cognitive Decline

Understanding why untreated hearing loss affects cognitive health is complex, but broadly it falls under four categories:

1. Common Risk Factors: Like high blood pressure, which could contribute to both hearing loss and cognitive decline. 

2. Mental Overload: Unmanaged hearing loss burdens the brain’s auditory pathways, which then pulls resources from cognitive functions. 

3. Structural Changes: Areas in the brain used for sound processing may shrink due to the reduced sensory input. 

4. Social Isolation: Reduced social activity due to hearing issues can exacerbate cognitive decline. 

Time Is of the Essence: Act Now

If you or a loved one is currently facing issues with hearing loss or have concerns about cognitive decline, South Sound Audiology can help. With our commitment to audiological care for over 15 years, we have been the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced facility in Lacey, WA.

For appointment bookings and further information on Cognivue Cognitive Screening, call us at (360) 464-9780 or click here.

With worsening untreated hearing loss and the ascending risks of cognitive decline, waiting is not an option. Choose South Sound Audiology for holistic auditory and cognitive health solutions today.

Cognitive Health

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Julie VanAusdal

Since 2006, Ms. VanAusdal has operated South Sound Audiology, applying 20 years of education, experience, and expertise to provide hearing solutions to pediatric and adult patients in the greater Olympia community. She is passionate about restoring the relationships and opportunities her patients lost because of hearing challenges. Her greatest motivation is seeing her patients enjoy a more active, rewarding, and independent lifestyle due to better hearing. Her commitment to our community shines through in her patient-centered approach to her audiology practice.

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