Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games in the world, largely because of its simplicity. All you need in order to play is some grids, some numbers, and a pencil. A very pleasant way to pass some hours, for many, is a soduku puzzle book. It’s an added perk that it’s good for your brain.
“Brain workouts” are becoming a popular means of fending off cognitive decline. But there are other methods of delaying cognitive decline. At times, your brain needs a boost in mental activation and studies have demonstrated that hearing aids could be able to fill that role.
Mental Decline, What is it?
Your brain is a “use it or lose it” organ. Neural connections will fizzle without appropriate stimulation. Your brain needs to make and strengthen neural pathways, that’s why Sudoku works, it keeps you mentally active.
There are some things that will quicken the process that would be an ordinary amount of mental decline connected with aging. A particularly potent hazard for your mental health, as an example, is hearing loss. When your hearing starts to diminish, two things take place that really impact your brain:
- 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 causes it to prioritize other senses like sight. Increased risk of mental decline has been associated with these changes.
- You go out less: Neglected hearing loss can cause some individuals to self-isolate in an unhealthy way. Staying home to avoid conversations may seem simpler than going out and feeling self-conscious (especially as your untreated hearing loss worsens). This can deprive your brain of even more input.
These two factors, when put together, can cause your brain to change in significant ways. This mental decline has frequently been connected to loss of memory, difficulty concentrating, and (over time) increased danger of mental illness including dementia.
Is Mental Decline Reversable With Hearing Aids?
So, this mental decline takes place because your hearing loss is being neglected. And it’s pretty obvious what you need to do to reverse these declines: get your hearing loss treated. For the majority of people with hearing loss, that means a shiny new pair of well-calibrated hearing aids.
It’s well corroborated and also surprising the degree that hearing aids can delay cognitive decline. Around 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 used their hearing aids for at least 18 months reported a stabilization or even reversal of that cognitive decline.
Just wearing hearing aids resulted in an almost universal improvement. That tells us a couple of things:
- Stimulation is integral to your mental health, so that means anything that helps your auditory cortex stay active when it normally wouldn’t be, is most likely advantageous. As long as you continue to hear (assisted by hearing aids), this major area of your brain will remain stimulated, dynamic, and healthy.
- Helping you remain social is one of the primary functions of any set of hearing aids. And your brain stays more involved when you are social. When you can hear conversations it’s a lot more fun to hang out with your friends.
Sudoko is Still a Good Idea
This new research out of the University of Melbourne isn’t the only one of it’s kind. Study after study seems to back the notion that hearing aids can help reduce cognitive decline, specifically when that decline would be accelerated by neglected hearing loss. The issue is that not everybody recognizes that they have hearing loss. You may not even notice the early signs. So if you’re feeling forgetful, strained, or even a bit spacier than usual, it might be worth checking with your hearing specialist.
You should still continue doing Sudoko and other brain games. They keep your brain fresh and pliable and give you stronger overall cognitive function. Exercising and staying mentally fit can be assisted by both hearing aids and brain games.