Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and ward off conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. No matter the method, though, managing hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive problems.
Many studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. This article will lay out the relationship between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can minimize the likelihood of these conditions becoming an impending issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been analyzed numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study showed that individuals 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 link between these conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means that activities such as cognition and memory, which require more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a serious affect on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there may even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to preserve your mental acuity is to remain socially active. Often, people who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The lack of human interaction can cause the other mental health problems mentioned above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to preserve mental sharpness and fight 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 impairment actually wear a hearing aid. It could be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from occurring in the first place or assist you in relearning 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 get in touch with us.