Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most notable. 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 connected to untreated hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can cause 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.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined numerous 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 people 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 leading theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means your brain is using more valuable energy on relatively simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be significantly impacted by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even influence schizophrenia. Remaining socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many cases, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental problems listed above are typically the outcome of the lack of human contact and can inevitably produce serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to combat dementia and other cognition conditions such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. People may avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a bad experience in the past or maybe they have some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are circumstances where certain sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. 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.
Contact us today to discover what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.