Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and fend off conditions like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Whatever methods you employ to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be extremely helpful.
Numerous studies show that the disorders listed above are all linked to neglected hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious issues with your mental health and how strategies like hearing aids can help you keep your brain working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to examine the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was revealed by each study: cognitive decline was more common with individuals who suffer from hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in people who have impaired hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. The primary theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that activities like memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be severely affected by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there may even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The mental problems listed above are typically the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognition disorders such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It might be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
There are circumstances where certain sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better get in touch with us.