Let’s be clear: there are a number of ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and ward off conditions such as dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most essential while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Regardless of the method, though, managing hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities a lot easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive issues.
These conditions, according to many studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. This article will lay out the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can reduce the probability of these conditions becoming an impending problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to examine the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study told 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.
Even though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. The leading theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that activities such as memory and cognition, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there may even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. Often, people who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental problems listed above are frequently the result of the lack of human contact and can inevitably lead to significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are possibly 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 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from 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.
There are circumstances where specific sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. It’s important 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 find out what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.