Let’s be clear: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and stave off conditions like dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying social is one of the most important while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Regardless of the method, though, managing hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a great deal easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive problems.
Numerous studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to untreated 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 running at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been analyzed several times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: individuals with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study demonstrated that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means your brain is spending more valuable energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be significantly impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been linked to hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these conditions also lead to cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the optimum ways to maintain your mental sharpness is to stay socially active. Often, people who have hearing loss will turn 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 inevitably produce 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 disorders like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing impairment 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 damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will need 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 essential tasks.
Get in touch with us right away to discover what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.