Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and ward off disorders such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most notable. Whatever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be extremely helpful.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to untreated 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.
The Relationship Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to determine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The same story was revealed by each study: people with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study showed that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more precious energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated 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 associated with hearing loss and there may even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The lack of human contact can produce the other mental health problems listed above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and combat disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The issue is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from 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.
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. It’s important to let your brain go back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by preventing this issue in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Get in touch with us today to find out what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.