Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Remaining social is one of the most significant while participating 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 tremendously helpful.
Numerous studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to neglected hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious problems with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined several times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: 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 diminished 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 effectively process sounds. That means that tasks like cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
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 disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to safeguard your mental acuity is to stay 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 cause 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 problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually wear a hearing aid. People might stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or maybe they have some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will allow your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better get in touch with us.