Being hard of hearing can increase the speed at which thinking and memory deteriorates with age, this has recently be proven with a scientific study undertaken in UK.
In this study, over a period of six years, volunteers with hearing loss were found to have a rate of mental decline up to 40% faster than those who could hear normally. Levels of declining brain function were directly related to the amount of hearing loss was one of the outcomes of this study.
On average, older adults with hearing loss developed significant mental impairment 3.2 years sooner than individuals whose hearing was sound.
Almost 2,000 men and women between the ages of 75 and 84 took part in the research, part of an investigation called the Health, Aging and Body Composition(Health ABC) study.
All were given hearing tests which involved listening to a range of soft and loud sounds in a soundproof room. Hearing loss is defined as only being able to recognise sounds louder than 25 decibels.
The volunteers also had their brain function assessed using standard tests of memory and thinking ability. None had any evidence of mental decline when the study began in 2001.
Possible reasons for the link include ties between hearing loss and social isolation. Previous research has shown that loneliness is a risk factor for mental decline.
Poor hearing may also force the brain to devote too much of its energy to processing sound, at the expense of memory and thinking. Another possibility is that some common underlying form of neurological damage leads both to hearing loss and mental problems.
One of the ways to counter this decline is getting help with your hearing loss at earliest. This helps you to lead an active lifestyle, which is imperative for maintaining your funamental agility, especially in old age. Hearing Aids have been found as the most commonly used curative for this.