Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most notable. Whichever methods you employ to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be extremely helpful.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are often directly linked to 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 functioning at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: individuals with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study showed that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a link between these conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that activities like cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a serious affect on your mental health. Studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and might even affect schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as mentioned, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Frequently, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The lack of human interaction can cause the other mental health problems listed above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and fight disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The issue is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing loss actually wear a hearing aid. People may steer clear of hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps 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 damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain could forget how to identify some common sounds and will need to relearn them. It’s important to help your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this issue in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Get in touch with us today to discover what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.