Let’s be clear: there are a few ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and stave off conditions like dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining social is one of the most significant while participating in the workforce appears to be another. Whichever methods you employ to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Many studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to neglected hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious problems with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to analyze the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was revealed by each study: people with hearing loss experienced dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. One study demonstrated, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. The leading theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that tasks such as memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a severe affect on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to anxiety, depression, and might even influence schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as noted, is the best way to maintain your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many cases, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The lack of human contact can lead to the other mental health issues listed above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually wear a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people wearing hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some common sounds and will need to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will enable your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us today to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.