Let’s be clear: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and ward off conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Whichever methods you employ to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to neglected hearing loss. The following 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 working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to analyze the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study told the same story: individuals with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study demonstrated that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a link between the two conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as mentioned, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many instances, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The mental issues listed above are commonly the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce significant cognitive decline.
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 acuity and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, most people who require hearing aids don’t wear them. People may stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a bad experience in the past or maybe they hold some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from occurring in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will enable your brain to focus on other, more important tasks.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you begin hearing better give us a call.