Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and ward off conditions like dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Whatever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be extremely helpful.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are often directly connected to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can lead to extreme problems with your mental health and how solutions 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 link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study told the same story: people with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study demonstrated that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. The primary theories suggest that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes such as memory or cognitive functions.
Your mental health can also be significantly impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the optimum ways to safeguard your mental sharpness is to remain socially engaged. In many instances, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The lack of human interaction can produce the other mental health problems listed above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and combat disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t use them. People might avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a bad experience in the past or perhaps they hold some kind of stigma, 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 harmed for an extended amount of time, the brain could forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from occurring in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better give us a call.