The Impact of Seeing and Hearing on Cognitive Decline

The Impact of Seeing and Hearing on Cognitive DeclineStaying socially active is good for the brain. And being able to see and hear help facilitate being socially active. So, is being able to see and hear good for the brain? The answer to that is yes.

Remarkable new research shows that hearing aids and cataract surgery, which improve hearing and vision, are actually protective of brain function. These results — which make sense, but are still surprising — were published in two recent studies.

The first, a long-term study of hearing aid use and cognitive function, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, followed approximately 2000 people ages 50 and up, over the course of 18 years.

Researchers performing cognitive testing found that the rate of cognitive decline slowed by an impressive 75% after a participant started wearing hearing aids. It is thought that
by reversing loss of hearing with the use of hearing aids, participants were less socially isolated. This study adds to evidence that both hearing loss and social isolation are linked to declines in cognition, and offers a way to slow that slide.

The same researchers conducted a companion study, published in PLOS One, a scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science. In this study, approximately 2000 older participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging were evaluated for cognitive assessment after cataract surgery.

The rate of cognitive decline decreased in this population as well — by 50%. Again, it is thought that improved vision allowed these seniors to participate more actively in social activities, offering them cognitive benefits.

We’ve always known that hearing aids and cataract surgery improve quality of life. Now we see that they do so not just in the short-term, but in the long term as well.

At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we know how to keep our residents — including our memory care residents — actively engaged, and as healthy and happy as they can be.

We provide care for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive disorders in a separate, secure space that is homelike and easy to navigate. Caregivers in the memory unit are specially trained, and treat each resident with the dignity and love they deserve. Our program helps patients maximize their cognitive function through activities and social interaction. We also use innovative sensory therapies for patients in more advance stages of cognitive decline.

Read our reviews on senioradvisor.com, caring.com, and wellness.com to hear what our residents and their families have to say.

Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.

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