Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Staying socially active is one of the most essential while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Whatever 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.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are frequently directly linked to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious problems with your mental health and how strategies like hearing aids can help you keep your brain functioning 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 examined several 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. One study revealed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in people who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. 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 cognitive function and memory.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been associated with hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially active, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental problems mentioned above are typically the result of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Sadly, most people who need hearing aids don’t use them. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people wearing hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and preserve their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
There are situations where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. 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 discover what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.