Make no mistake: there are a number of ways that you can maintain your mental acuteness and ward off disorders such as dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most essential while participating in the workforce seems 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 extremely helpful.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious issues with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain functioning at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to examine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study told the same story: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study revealed that people 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 link between the two conditions. The primary theories suggest that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that tasks such as cognition and memory, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Your mental health can also be significantly affected by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the best ways to safeguard your mental sharpness is to stay socially engaged. In many examples, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human interaction can cause the other mental health issues mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and combat conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. People might stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they hold some kind of stigma, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could 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 assist you in relearning those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you begin hearing better get in touch with us.