Make no mistake: there are a few ways that you can maintain your mental acuteness and stave off conditions like dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive issues.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are frequently directly linked to hearing loss. This article will lay out the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined several times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: people 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.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means that tasks such as cognition and memory, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and might even affect schizophrenia. All of these conditions also lead to cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the optimum ways to preserve your mental sharpness is to remain socially active. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental problems mentioned above are typically the outcome of the lack of human contact and can inevitably produce serious cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing impairment actually wear a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some common sounds and will need to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening 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.