Your ears are responsible for more than collecting sounds. They provide essential stimulation to the nerves in your brain to keep it active, which may slow or prevent cognitive decline, memory loss and dementia.
From Ears to Brain
The outer portion of your ear funnels sounds through your ear canal into your inner ear. As the sounds travel, they cause tiny hair-like cells to vibrate and activate the auditory nerve in your inner ear. That nerve converts the vibrations to electrical signals so your brain’s auditory cortex can interpret them.
How Hearing Loss Affects Your Brain
Your auditory cortex requires consistent stimulation to stay functional and translate electrical signals effectively. Hearing loss occurs when those hair-like cells sustain damage or die off and no longer send vibrations to your auditory nerve.
That produces fewer electrical signals for your brain, robbing it of the necessary input. Your brain will begin to use energy from other areas to compensate for the lack of activity, including parts responsible for thinking and memory.
Hearing loss increases your cognitive load, and your brain must work harder to interpret the limited sound it receives. That makes it difficult for your brain to sustain other lobes, which could result in cognitive decline and memory loss.
How Hearing Aids Help Your Brain
Hearing aids enhance and clarify sounds, so your brain doesn’t have to strain to understand them. Hearing devices also provide your auditory cortex with the stimulation needed to stay healthy.
Wearing hearing aids allows you to hear sounds you’ve been missing. That gives your brain a chance to “hear” better, so it doesn’t have to pull energy from other areas. The reduced cognitive load lets your brain use more resources to make and retain short- and long-term memories.
The degenerative nature of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is irreversible, but you can take steps to slow their progression. Wearing hearing aids helps keep your brain strong and may prevent further cognitive damage.
Find Audiology Services in New York City
Audio Help Hearing Centers’ expert doctors of audiology are committed to finding unique hearing solutions for you. They conduct comprehensive hearing evaluations to determine your degree of hearing loss and prescribe appropriate treatment options, which may include hearing aids. We carry most major hearing aid brands to suit your hearing needs, lifestyle and budget.
Protect your brain from cognitive decline and memory loss by scheduling your appointment at one of our offices in New York City and Scarsdale, New York, or Stamford, Connecticut.