Make no mistake: there are a number of ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and fend off disorders such as dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most essential while participating in the workforce seems to be another. 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 preventing cognitive problems.
These conditions, according to many studies, are frequently directly connected to hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to extreme issues 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.
The Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to analyze the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study told the same story: individuals with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study showed that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a link between the two conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means that activities such as cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to preserve your mental sharpness is to stay socially engaged. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental issues listed above are typically the outcome of the lack of human contact and can ultimately lead to significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and combat conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, the majority of people who require hearing aids don’t use them. It could be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people wearing 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 damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain could forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. It’s important to let 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.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.