Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Remaining social is one of the most important while participating in the workforce seems to be another. Whichever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to untreated hearing loss. The following 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 running at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The connection 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: individuals with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study demonstrated that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a connection. The primary theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that tasks such as memory and cognition, which demand more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Your mental health can also be severely affected by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even influence schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental issues mentioned above are frequently the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can inevitably produce serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and combat conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, most people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people wearing hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are situations where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. It’s essential to let your brain go 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.
Contact us today to discover what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.