Hearing Loss to Dementia
Leviticus 19:14 Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.
What a scary title. A year ago or more I heard that hearing loss could lead to dementia. Is this true? Or is it a scare tactic to sell hearing aids? It first I didn’t know, but now after what I have read, I do believe it’s true.
However to make things complicated, it’s not always true. It just looks like it. A quote from Hearing Loss Association of America says:
In older people, a hearing loss is often confused with, or complicates, such conditions as dementia.
Often times people with a sharp mind will still be called half-wit, dim-wit, not-bright, and stupid. All because they don’t hear well. And if they on the older side, maybe even be thought of as having some sort of dementia.
So, how do you know if it’s really dementia? My thinking (remember I am no expert) is get your hearing tested. Then if you need a hearing aid or a cochlear implant, get one. If things aren’t any better, see your doctor.
Recently I have read a few articles about the subject. To me this all makes sense about how untreated hearing loss could lead to dementia. Especially if you’ve been hearing all of your life, and then you loose some or all of it, it could be very discouraging. Without hearing your loved ones, your music, and other things, you could become depressed. And if you become depressed, you could eat more, (and more junk food) and increase your chances of getting diabetes. However according to Living With Hearing Loss, those with higher than normal glucose level are more likely to have a hearing loss. It seems like diabetes and hearing loss feed off each other.
Also if you’re depressed, you’re more likely to stay home and isolate yourself. This is bad for two reasons. One you’re less likely to exercise yourself, which means your muscles will soften and shrink. It’s bad for your heart too. But another reason is your brain will also weaken and shrink! If you don’t try to hear and understand people and not the TV, that part of your brain will weaken and shrink.
Years ago I read that rabbits in the wild, often have a larger brain than those that are kept in a cage. Don’t cage yourself at home.
There is a book out there called Keep Your Brain Alive. You can buy it at Amazon. I read it years ago and I reading it again.
On the subject of keeping your brain alive; I have noticed two things that I have found interesting. One, people seem to stop learning after high school or college. There are exceptions of course. But most likely after they graduate, that’s it. They stop learning.
Another thing I have noticed is many people don’t seem to think. They don’t seem to think about what they think they know and they don’t seem to think about what they don’t know. They don’t wonder about things. For an example: You look at a clock and it says it’s 6:00 in the morning. But is it true? 6:00AM may be the official time, but is it the correct time? New Orleans and Dallas are both in the same time zone. Yet people in New Orleans will see the sunrise before the people in Dallas. The sun will also be over head or at the noon position in New Orleans before it will be in Dallas. This means the clocks in New Orleans and/or in Dallas are wrong. Maybe by as much as 25 minutes or more. Then add Daylights Savings… and well I’ll let you figure it out.
So will you get dementia with you hearing loss? I don’t believe you have to. But I believe you should work towards not getting it.
– First get your hearing loss treated.
– Take care of yourself. Loose weight if you need to. (If you can) Eat healthier foods. (Even though nuts, like pecans maybe healthy, pecan pies are not. Peanuts on your ice cream doesn’t help much either) Exercise. (I know some people may think that’s a dirty word. But it’s not) About exercising, I was told that in the 1960s the United States was pushing physical education on grade school students. The reason was, exercise helped kids study better. Not just because they were tired, but because of the oxygen rich blood going to their brain.
– Socialize. It may be difficult, but I believe it will exercise your brain. Including the audio parts of it. Don’t stop being yourself. If you’re normally out going, keep it up. Don’t avoid your friends.
– Learn something. Take a class. Read a how-to book.
And now I am so tempted to add a link to a sweet sweet song. OK, maybe it’s not so sweet. Well for those who are old enough to remember this, and those who aren’t, here’s “They’re Coming To Take Me Away”
By the way, this song is one of the very few that I can honestly hear the beat.