Make no mistake: Keeping your mind sharp and preventing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Whichever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be immensely helpful.
Many studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. The following 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.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out several studies over the years to analyze the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study told the same story: cognitive decline was more prevalent with people who experience hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means that tasks such as cognition and memory, which require more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a severe impact on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even affect schizophrenia. Remaining socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental problems listed above are commonly the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognition 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 deal with hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. It might be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are circumstances where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from occurring in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will enable 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.