Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most significant. Whatever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
These disorders, according to many studies, are frequently directly connected to hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious issues 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 Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The same story was revealed by each study: individuals with hearing loss suffered from 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 people who have impaired hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. The leading theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes such as memory or cognitive functions.
Hearing loss can also have a severe impact on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even affect schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the optimum ways to preserve your mental sharpness is to stay socially engaged. Often, people who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The mental problems mentioned above are commonly the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately lead to serious cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best tools we have to fight dementia and other cognition conditions 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 deal with hearing impairment actually wear a hearing aid. People may stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they have some kind of stigma, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and maintain 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 extended hearing damage. It’s essential to help your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by preventing this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Contact us today to find out what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.