Ask Away Blog: Prevent Cognitive Decline With Healthy Hearing Habits

Prevent Cognitive Decline With Healthy Hearing Habits

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

 

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AVOID LOUD NOISES

If you have an issue with cognitive decline in later life you may start to lose your hearing as a result, conversely, losing your hearing prematurely can bring on cognitive decline through isolation and communication issues. You can improve your odds by protecting your hearing and keeping it healthy.

Often people's hearing is damaged from the outside. Loud noises such as traffic, fireworks, lawn mowers, hair dryers and drills are all responsible for damaging the inner ear and cause hearing loss. The best way to protect your hearing and your brain is to identify harmful noise in your life and protect against it.

USE EAR PROTECTION

Around 25% of people aged between 65 and 74 will experience hearing loss and cognitive decline. This will also impact their cognitive health as the brain requires sound stimulation to work optimally. Additionally a deterioration in hearing will make it more difficult to interact with others further impacting a person's overall cognitive health.

You can take measures at any stage of your life to prevent auditory and cognitive decline in your later years. Using ear protection is an easy and effective means of doing this. Any sound in your life that reaches 80 decibels or over should be protected against with ear defenders or earplugs. This might include heavy traffic, music, and fireworks.

LIMIT LOUD MUSIC

If you're in your thirties and forties, or somewhat older, your days of going to clubs, festivals, and loud rock concerts regularly are probably behind you, but your ears can still be damaged by loud music, especially if you listen to it through headphones or earphones. Loud music is one of the most common reasons for auditory and cognitive decline.

Luckily, this doesn't mean you have to give up your favourite music or your favourite habit of playing air guitar on the weekends. Monitor the decibel levels you list yo and make sure your volume is never above 60%. If possible, listen to your music through speaker rather than earpieces.

KNOW THE SIGNS


One of the best ways to protect your hearing in the short and long term is to know the signs of damage and decline, and to take effective measures. You will probably notice small signs of hearing decline, such as an inability to hear low frequency soft noises, or miss things when people talk.

You may also experience a low frequency buzzing in your ears which could be the symptoms of tinnitus. When you notice changes in your hearing you should see an audiologist as soon as possible for a check up. Protecting your ears early will prolong their effectiveness and your cognitive health.

EAR CARE

Ears are easy to overlook and we often take them for granted until our hearing declines and our lifestyle becomes impacted. But ears are the same as eyes and teeth, they require regular attention and care to remain healthy and functioning. Like your teeth and eyesight you should have your ears checked at least once a year by an audiologist.



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