The impact of hearing loss: While people are living longer, thanks in some part to scientific advancement, failing mental function frequently impairs the quality of those extra years.
Actually, decline in cognitive abilities, like memory and attention, represent the most profound threat to active and healthy ageing.
Hearing loss is common in older adults and is something that can also impact on the quality of our lives, making it difficult to communicate with family and friends.
Age-related hearing loss is also associated with poor cognitive performance, with incident dementia and may actually contribute to cognitive decline.
Protect your brain: What many people don’t know is that research is showing that ‘modifiable’ lifestyle factors, things that we can change ourselves, can help to protect brain health. So simple lifestyle changes, attitude adjustment, physical exercise, mental stimulation and even social engagement can boost our brain health and may act as a buffer against decline in brain function.
Socialising is good for your brain: Let's take social engagement as an example – people who are socially active are less likely to develop cognitive impairment.
People with more social ties live longer, have better health and are less depressed. The bad news is that loneliness and social isolation are as bad for your health as smoking and obesity.
The good news is that staying socially engaged and getting involved in social activities is not only rewarding, but also helps to maintain brain health and may actually lower your risk of developing dementia.
Act now: People wait an average of ten years to address their hearing loss, which impacts significantly on their general health and well-being.
So if you are experiencing hearing loss that is impacting on your ability to stay socially active or to communicate with your family and friends, then the best advice is to address this as soon as possible. Book yourself a hearing test or consider getting a hearing aid.
In this video from the Mind Your Hearing campaign, a number of individuals recount their personal experience of hearing loss. Prof. Sabina Brennan explains that age-related hearing loss is associated with poor cognitive performance and advocates booking a hearing test if you have any concerns about your hearing.
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