Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Image of someone with a hearing aid doing a brain game to improve cognitive ability.

Because of its simplicity, soduku is a globally popular puzzle game. All you need in order to play is a few grids, a pencil, and some numbers. For many, a Sudoku puzzle book is a relaxing way to pass the time. It’s an additional bonus that it strengthens your brain.

It’s becoming popular to use “brain workouts” to address mental decline. But Sudoku isn’t the only way to delay cognitive recession. Often, your brain needs a boost in mental stimulation and research has revealed that hearing aids could be capable of filling that role.

What is Mental Decline?

Your brain has a truly use-it-or-lose-it disposition. Neural connections will fizzle out without appropriate stimulation. Your brain needs to forge and reinforce neural pathways, that’s the reason why Sudoku works, it keeps you mentally active.

There are certain things that will speed up the process that would be a normal amount of mental decline connected with getting older. Hearing loss, as an example, can present a really potent risk for your mental health. Two things occur that really affect your brain when your hearing starts to wain:

  • You hear less: There is less sound going in to stimulate your auditory cortex (the hearing focus of the brain). Your brain might end up changing in a way that makes it prioritize other senses like sight. Increased risk of mental decline has been connected to these changes.
  • You don’t go out as much: Self isolation is a very unhealthy behavior, but that’s exactly what some individuals do when they have hearing loss. As your hearing loss progresses, it might just seem simpler to stay inside to avoid conversation. But this is a bad idea as it can rob your brain of that necessary stimulation.

These two things, when combined, can cause your brain to change in major ways. Memory loss, trouble concentrating, and eventually a higher risk of dementia have been connected to this sort of cognitive decline.

Is Cognitive Decline Reversable With Hearing Aids?

So if your hearing loss is ignored, this type of cognitive decline can be the consequence. And it’s fairly clear what you need to do to reverse these declines: get your hearing impairment treated. Normally, this means new hearing aids.

The degree to which hearing aids can slow cognitive decline is both unexpected and well-corroborated. Approximately 100 people with hearing loss from the age of 62 to age 82 were surveyed by the University of Melbourne. Over 97% of those adults who wore their hearing aids for at least 18 months revealed a stabilization or even reversal of that mental decline.

That’s an almost universal improvement, simply from wearing hearing aids. We can learn a couple of things from this:

  • Finding ways to activate your auditory cortex would be advantageous because stimulation is the key to mental health. This area of your brain will remain healthy and vital as long as you continue to hear ( with assistance from hearing aids).
  • Helping you continue to be social is one of the primary functions of any pair of hearing aids. And your brain remains more engaged when you stay social. When you can hear conversations it’s much more enjoyable to talk with your friends.

Doesn’t Mean Sudoku is a Bad Idea

The University of Melbourne research isn’t the only one of it’s kind. Numerous studies appear to back the notion that hearing aids can help slow cognitive decline, particularly when that decline would be accelerated by untreated hearing loss. The issue is that not everybody recognizes that they have hearing loss. You might not even recognize the early signs. So if you’re feeling strained, forgetful, or even a bit spacier than normal, it may be worth talking with your hearing specialist.

You should still continue doing Sudoko and other brain games. They keep your brain refreshed and pliable and give you stronger overall cognitive function. Both hearing aids and Sudoku can help you work out your brain and keep yourself cognitively fit.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us