Make no mistake: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive disorders including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be extremely helpful.
Numerous studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can cause extreme issues 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 Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to determine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study revealed the same story: people with hearing loss suffered from 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 individuals who have impaired hearing.
Hearing loss alone 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 precious energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many examples, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental problems mentioned above are frequently the result of the lack of human contact and can ultimately lead to serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and combat disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, most people who need hearing aids don’t use them. It could 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 protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are situations 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 happening in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will permit your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us today to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.