Make no mistake: there are a few ways that you can maintain your mental acuteness and ward off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining social is one of the most important while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Whatever methods you employ to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can cause extreme 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.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to analyze the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was revealed by each study: cognitive decline was more prevalent with people who experience hearing loss. In fact, one study showed that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Though dementia isn’t specifically caused by hearing loss there is certainly a connection. The primary theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be severely impacted by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Frequently, individuals who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The lack of human contact can cause the other mental health problems listed above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to preserve mental sharpness and combat conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. People might avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they hold some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are circumstances where certain sounds will have to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from occurring in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
Contact us today to discover what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.