Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Remaining socially active is one of the most essential while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities a lot easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive issues.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to neglected hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious 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
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: people with hearing loss struggled with 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 those with healthy hearing.
Even though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. The primary theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that tasks like cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be severely impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been linked to hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. 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 typically the result of the lack of human contact and can inevitably lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and fight conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. People might stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a bad experience in the past or maybe they hold some kind of stigma, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and maintain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will need to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will allow your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us today to discover what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.