Woman helping her father improve his hearing and cognitive health with hearing aids.

Susan is living the active lifestyle she always knew she would after retirement. She travels a lot and at 68 she’s been to over 12 countries and is planning a lot more trips. On some days you’ll find her investigating a hiking trail with her grandchildren, on others she will be volunteering at a local hospital, and sometimes you will see her out enjoying the lake.

Doing and seeing new things is what Susan is all about. But in the back of her mind, Susan is concerned that cognitive decline or dementia could change all that.

When Susan’s mother was about her age she started to show the first signs of cognitive decline. Over a period of 15 years, Susan watched as the woman who had always taken care of her and loved her without condition struggled with seemingly simple tasks. She forgets random things. At some point, she could only recognize Susan on a good day.

Susan has tried to eat a balanced diet and exercise so she could hopefully avoid what her mother experienced. But she isn’t sure that will be enough. Is there anything else she can do that’s been shown to slow cognitive decline and dementia?

The good news is, it is possible to stave off cognitive decline by doing a few things. Three of them are listed here.

1. Exercise Regularly

Susan discovered that she’s already on the right track. Each day she attempts to get at least the suggested amount of exercise.

Many studies support the fact that individuals who do moderate exercise regularly as they age have a decreased risk for cognitive decline and dementia. These same studies show that individuals who are already coping with some form of mental decline also have a positive effect from consistent exercise.

Researchers think that exercise might stave off cognitive decline for a number of really important reasons.

  1. As a person ages, the nervous system degenerates and consistent exercise can slow this. The brain needs these nerves to communicate with the body, process memories, and consider how to do things. Exercise slows this breakdown so scientists believe that it could also slow mental decline.
  2. Neuroprtection factors might be enhanced with exercise. Your body has mechanisms that safeguard certain types of cells from harm. These protectors might be created at a higher rate in people who get an abundance of exercise.
  3. Exercise lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to cells in the brain. If cardiovascular disease stops this blood flow, cells die. By keeping the heart and vessels healthy, exercise might be able to delay dementia.

2. Have Vision Concerns Treated

The occurrence of cognitive decline was cut nearly in half in people who had their cataracts removed according to an 18-year study conducted on 2000 people.

Preserving healthy eyesight is crucial for cognitive health in general even though this study only concentrated on one prevalent cause of eyesight loss.

People often begin to seclude themselves from friends and retreat from activities they enjoy when they lose their eyesight at an older age. The link between dementia and social isolation is the focus of other studies.

Getting cataracts treated is crucial. If you can take measures to sharpen your vision, you’ll also be protecting yourself against the progression of dementia.

3. Get Hearing Aids

You might be heading towards cognitive decline if you have neglected hearing loss. The same researchers in the cataract research gave 2000 different participants who had hearing loss a hearing aid. They used the same methods to test for the progression of cognitive decline.

They got even more remarkable results. The people who received the hearing aids saw their dementia advancement rates decrease by 75%. So the dementia symptoms they were already experiencing simply stopped.

This has some likely reasons.

First is the social factor. People who have neglected hearing loss tend to socially seclude themselves because they struggle to interact with their friends at social clubs and events.

Also, a person slowly forgets how to hear when they begin to lose their hearing. If the person waits years to get a hearing aid, this deterioration progresses into other parts of the brain.

Researchers have, in fact, used an MRI to compare the brains of people with neglected hearing loss to people who use a hearing aid. The brain actually shrinks in individuals with neglected hearing loss.

Clearly, your mental ability and memory are going to start to falter under these circumstances.

Stave off dementia by wearing your hearing aids if you have them. If you’re procrastinating on getting a hearing aid, even with hearing loss, it’s time to contact us for a hearing examination. Learn about today’s technologically sophisticated designs that help you hear better.

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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.
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