Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. 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 disorders listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious issues 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.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study told the same story: cognitive decline was more prevalent with people who experience hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have impaired hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more valuable 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 severely affected by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially active, as mentioned, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many cases, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human contact can cause the other mental health problems listed above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are possibly one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t use them. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people wearing 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 could forget how to identify some common sounds and will need to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either stop 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.
Get in touch with us today to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.