Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Whichever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be extremely 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 lead to serious problems with your mental health and how strategies like hearing aids can help you keep your brain running at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: people with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study revealed that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that tasks like memory and cognition, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant affect on your mental health. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been linked to hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many cases, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental issues listed above are frequently the result of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp 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 issue is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and maintain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
Get in touch with us today to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.