Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Remaining socially active is one of the most significant while participating in the workforce appears to be another. Whichever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be immensely helpful.
These conditions, according to many studies, are frequently directly linked to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious issues 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 Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. One study showed, 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 link between these conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. 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 basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there may even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to safeguard your mental acuity is to stay socially active. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human contact can produce the other mental health problems listed above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and combat conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing loss actually wear 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 retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
There are circumstances where specific sounds will have to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from occurring in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us right away to discover what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.