Make no mistake: there are a number of ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and fend off disorders such as dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are frequently directly connected to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can lead to extreme 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 Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out several studies over the years to analyze the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was told by each study: people with hearing loss struggled with 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 by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means your brain is spending more valuable energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes such as memory or cognitive functions.
Hearing loss can also have a significant affect on your mental health. Studies have shown that hearing loss is connected to anxiety, depression, and might even influence schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many cases, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The lack of human contact can lead to the other mental health issues listed above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
One of the best tools we have to fight dementia and other cognitive conditions 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 loss actually wear a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is harmed for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will permit your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us today to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.