As we get older we start to have trouble hearing clearly and we normally just accept it as a normal part of growing older. Maybe we need to ask people to speak up or repeat themselves when they talk. Maybe the volume on our TV keeps getting louder. We may even notice that we’re becoming forgetful.
Memory loss is also often regarded as a natural part of aging as dementia and Alzheimer’s are a lot more prevalent in the senior citizen population than in the younger population at large. But is it possible that there’s a link between the two? And, even better, what if there was a way to address hearing loss and also preserve your memories and mental health?
The connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss
Most individuals do not associate hearing loss with mental decline and dementia. But if you look in the appropriate places, you will discover a clear link: studies show that there is a substantial risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-like disorders if you also suffer from hearing loss – even at fairly low levels of hearing impairment.
Mental health issues including anxiety and depression are also fairly prevalent in individuals who suffer from hearing loss. The key point here is that hearing loss, mental health problems, and cognitive decline all affect our ability to socialize.
Why is cognitive decline impacted by hearing loss?
While there is no concrete finding or definitive proof that hearing loss causes cognitive decline and mental health problems, there is some connection and numerous clues that experts are investigating. They think two main scenarios are responsible: your brain working harder to hear and social solitude.
Studies have demonstrated that anxiety and depression are often the result of isolation. And people are not as likely to socialize with other people when they cope with hearing loss. Many people find it difficult to go out to the movies or dinner because they can’t hear very well. Mental health issues can be the result of this path of isolation.
In addition, researchers have found that the brain frequently has to work overtime to make up for the fact that the ears don’t hear as well as they should. Eventually, the part of the brain responsible for other tasks, like remembering, has to use some of its resources to help the part of the brain responsible for hearing. This overworks the brain and causes cognitive decline to set in much faster than if the brain was able to process sounds normally.
How to fight mental decline with hearing aids
The weapon against mental health issues and cognitive decline is hearing aids. Research has shown that patients improved their cognitive functions and were at a decreased risk of developing dementia when they used hearing aids to deal with their hearing loss.
We would see fewer cases of cognitive decline and mental health issues if more people would just wear their hearing aids. Of all the people who require hearing aids, only between 15% and 30% actually use them, that’s between 5 and 9 million people. Almost 50 million people cope with dementia as reported by the World Health Organization estimates. If hearing aids can lower that number by even just a couple of million people, the quality of life for many individuals and families will improve exponentially.
Are you ready to start hearing better – and remembering things without any issue? Get in touch with us today and schedule a consultation to find out if hearing aids are right for you and to get on the path to better mental health.