Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most significant. Whichever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
These conditions, according to many studies, are often directly connected to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause extreme problems with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain functioning at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to analyze the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was told by each study: individuals with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is spending more valuable energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been linked to hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these conditions also lead to cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to maintain your mental acuity is to remain socially active. Often, people who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental issues mentioned above are frequently the result of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce serious cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognition conditions like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Sadly, most people who require hearing aids don’t use them. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people wearing hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain could forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will have to learn them all over again. It’s important to help your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this issue in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better get in touch with us.