Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month? It’s a great time to raise awareness about the link between hearing loss and cognitive health. People with hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing cognitive decline1 and dementia.2
However, results from a study looking at the effects of Brain Fitness software on participants with hearing loss provide some hope.3
Participants were assigned to one of two training groups, the Posit Science’s Brain Fitness group or the control group. Those assigned to the Brain Fitness group used the program for one hour each day, five days a week, for eight weeks.
Participants in this group showed improvements in neural timing, short-term memory and processing speed, particularly in noisy situations. In contrast, the control group displayed no change in hearing or cognitive functioning. Those in the Brain Fitness group were enthusiastic about their experience and reported noticeable improvements in both their ability to hear and focus on conversations.
Hearing devices provide an invaluable benefit to millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss. But for many people who wear them, following conversations in noisy environments is an ongoing challenge due to deficits in central auditory processing and cognitive function. Participating in brain exercises is one way for an individual to improve their listening experience.
Daily brain exercises may help fend off or delay Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Just 15 minutes of rigorous brain exercise a day is enough to keep the brain active.
Early detection and treatment of hearing loss are crucial for good cognitive health. If you suspect you or someone you love has hearing loss, contact us for an evaluation.
1 Lin, F.R., et al. (2013) Hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults. Jama Intern Med. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1558452
2 John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). The hidden risks of hearing loss. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
3 Kraus, N., et al. (2013). In older adults, the brain can still be trained to hear in noise. The Hearing Journal. https://brainvolts.northwestern.edu/wp-content/uploads/boxtrx/Kraus_Anderson_HearJour_May_2013.pdf