Let’s be clear: there are a few ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and fend off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Whichever 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.
Many studies show that the disorders listed above are all linked to neglected hearing loss. The following 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
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to examine the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more common with individuals who experience hearing loss. One study revealed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have impaired hearing.
Even though dementia isn’t specifically caused by hearing loss there is definitely a connection. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes like memory or cognitive functions.
Your mental health can also be significantly affected by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been associated with hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many examples, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The mental problems listed above are typically the result of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing impairment actually wear a hearing aid. People might avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they have some kind of stigma, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could forget how to identify some common sounds and will need to relearn them. 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 essential tasks.
Get in touch with us today to learn what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.