No Brainer – Use it or Lose it?
It’s not black and white……
But it is grey. Dementia comes in multiple forms and is undoubtedly a terrible thing for those who suffer from it and their family. I have experience of supporting family members and others with dementia and let’s just say it isn’t easy. I think that dementia is often seen as our inevitable demise but what if it wasn’t? What if you could shut the door on dementia or at least make it more difficult for it to come knocking?
Some recent studies suggest that this might not be totally out of the question. The studies suggest that hearing loss is potentially a major contributing factor to the onset of dementia and that the process may be slowed significantly by the use of hearing aids!
Let me explain… There are a number of ways that we think hearing loss may be a contributor to the onset of dementia but I find this idea particularly interesting. It is thought that hearing loss leads to decreased stimulation of cognitive processing. Think about this in physical terms, specifically in terms of your muscles. What happens if you don’t use them? They shrink. Right? What happens when they shrink? They become less strong and in turn don’t function as well as you would like. I think it is fair to say that most of us would not want to be in a position/environment that made it impossible to use some or all of our muscles and allow them to waste away. The thing is, recent studies suggest that this is exactly the position we put ourselves in when we leave a hearing loss untreated. We are depriving our mind of some of the stimulation it needs to remain strong.
Can we fix this I hear you say? Honestly, the idea is still in it’s infancy and will probably remain a grey area until more studies have been carried out. I’m fortunate enough to have good hearing and I hope it stays that way but knowing what is outlined in this text and having seen dementia and the terrible things it can do to a person I would not hesitate to seek help if I experience hearing loss in the future. Apart from the dementia issue, we’re social beasts and I for one would not want to impoverish my social environment at all if I could help it. And this is just it, we can help it. Modern hearing aids are truly a marvel of technology. You don’t have to suffer hearing loss and its long term effects when there are discreet, smart and high-tech hearing instruments out there that could potentially negate these effects.
It’s a no Brainer!!!!