Make no mistake: there are a few ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and fend off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most notable. Whichever methods you employ to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are often directly connected to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause extreme problems with your mental health and how strategies like hearing aids can help you keep your brain working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out several studies over the years to analyze the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The same story was revealed by each study: cognitive decline was more prevalent with individuals who experience hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have impaired hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. The leading theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that activities like memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently 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 connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even influence schizophrenia. Remaining socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The lack of human contact can produce the other mental health problems mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognition conditions such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The issue is that only one out of seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing impairment actually wear a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and maintain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
There are situations where specific sounds will need 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 help you relearn those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better get in touch with us.