Make no mistake: there are a number of ways that you can maintain your mental acuteness and fend off disorders like dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most significant. Regardless of the method, though, managing hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a lot easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive issues.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are often directly connected to hearing loss. What follows 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 functioning at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to examine the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more common with people who suffer from hearing loss. One study demonstrated, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more valuable energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes like memory or cognitive functions.
Hearing loss can also have a serious impact on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to maintain your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many examples, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental problems mentioned above are typically the outcome of the lack of human contact and can ultimately lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognition conditions like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing impairment actually wear a hearing aid. It could be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people maintain 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 extended hearing damage. It’s essential to let your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Get in touch with us today to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.