Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and preventing cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Staying socially active is one of the most significant while participating in the workforce appears 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 extremely helpful.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are often directly connected to hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious issues with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain running at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to examine the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more common with individuals who suffer from hearing loss. Actually, one study revealed that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Even though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes such as memory or cognitive functions.
Your mental health can also be significantly affected by hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss is connected to anxiety, depression, and might even influence schizophrenia. All of these conditions also lead to cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the optimum ways to maintain your mental acuity is to remain socially engaged. In many instances, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human interaction can lead to the other mental health problems mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
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 issue 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 may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven 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 recognize some everyday sounds and will have to learn them all over again. It’s essential to let your brain go back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better get in touch with us.