Make no mistake: Keeping your mind sharp and preventing cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most notable. No matter the method, though, treating hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to battling cognitive problems.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to extreme issues with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined several times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more common with people who suffer from hearing loss. In fact, one study showed that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a link between the two conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means your brain is spending more valuable energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be significantly affected by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to anxiety, depression, and may even affect schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the best ways to maintain your mental sharpness is to remain socially engaged. Frequently, people who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental issues mentioned above are frequently the outcome of the lack of human contact and can inevitably lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are possibly one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one out of 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 wearing 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 circumstances where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from happening in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will allow your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us right away to learn what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.