Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and preventing cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most notable. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Numerous studies show that the conditions listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious problems 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.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to 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: cognitive decline was more common with people who suffer from hearing loss. One study revealed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in people who have impaired hearing.
Though dementia isn’t specifically caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means that activities like 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 basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially active, as mentioned, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Often, people who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The mental problems mentioned above are frequently the outcome of the lack of human contact and can ultimately produce serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognition disorders like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Unfortunately, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. It might be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people using hearing aids, 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 harmed for an extended amount of time, the brain could forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will need to relearn them. It’s essential to help your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by preventing this issue in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better get in touch with us.