Because of its simplicity, soduku is one of the world’s most popular puzzle games. All you require in order to play is a few grids, some numbers, and a pencil. A very enjoyable way to pass some hours, for many individuals, is a soduku puzzle book. It’s an additional bonus that it’s good for your brain.
“Brain workouts” are becoming a popular means of fending off cognitive decline. But there are other means of delaying cognitive decline. At times, your brain requires a boost in mental stimulation and research has demonstrated that hearing aids could be capable of filling that role.
Mental Decline, What is it?
Your brain has a truly use-it-or-lose-it disposition. Without stimulus, neural connections will fizzle. That’s why Sudoku tends to keep you mentally active: it forces your brain to think, to creatively make and reinforce numerous neural pathways.
While some mental decline is a natural part of aging, there are some variables that can hasten or exacerbate that decline. An especially potent risk for your cognitive health, for instance, is hearing loss. Two things occur that powerfully affect your brain when your hearing begins to go:
- You hear less: There is less sound going in to activate your auditory cortex (the hearing center of the brain). Your brain could end up changing in a way that makes it prioritize other senses like sight. A higher danger of mental decline has been associated with these changes.
- You don’t go out as much: Self isolation is a very detrimental behavior, but that’s exactly what some individuals do when they suffer from hearing loss. Staying home to avoid conversations may seem simpler than going out and feeling self-conscious (specifically as your untreated hearing loss worsens). But this is not a good idea as it can rob your brain of that needed stimulation.
Together, these two factors can result in a major change in your brain. Memory loss, problems concentrating, and ultimately an increased risk of dementia have been related to this sort of cognitive decline.
Is Mental Decline Reversable With Hearing Aids?
So if your hearing loss is ignored, this type of cognitive decline can be the result. And it’s pretty clear what needs to be done to reverse these declines: get your hearing loss treated. Normally, this means new hearing aids.
The degree to which hearing aids can slow mental decline is both unexpected and well-corroborated. Approximately 100 people with hearing loss from the age of 62 to age 82 were interviewed by the University of Melbourne. Over 97% of those adults who used their hearing aids for at least 18 months revealed a stabilization or even reversal of that cognitive decline.
That’s an almost universal improvement, just from using hearing aids. We can learn a couple of things from this:
- Discovering ways to activate your auditory cortex would be helpful because stimulation is essential to mental health. As long as you keep hearing (with the assistance of hearing aids), this vital region of your brain will remain stimulated, dynamic, and healthy.
- One of the primary functions of hearing aids is to keep you in your social circle. And your brain remains more involved when you stay social. When you can follow conversations it’s a lot more enjoyable to spend time with your friends.
Doesn’t Mean Sudoku is a Bad Idea
The University of Melbourne study isn’t an outlier. If you have neglected hearing loss, numerous studies have revealed that using hearing aids can help decrease cognitive decline. But many people have hearing loss and just don’t recognize it. The symptoms can sneak up on you. So if you’re feeling forgetful, strained, or even a little spacier than normal, it might be worth talking with your hearing specialist.
You should still continue doing Sudoko and other brain games. Keeping your brain agile and involved in a number of different ways can help broaden the overall cognitive strength of your executive functions. Both hearing aids and Sudoku can help you exercise your brain and keep yourself mentally fit.