Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Staying socially active is one of the most essential while participating in the workforce seems to be another. Whatever methods you employ to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be immensely helpful.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are frequently directly connected to hearing loss. This article will lay out the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming an impending issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to examine the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The same story was told by each study: cognitive decline was more prevalent with people who experience hearing loss. In fact, one study revealed that people 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 connection. 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 valuable energy on fairly simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. 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 noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many instances, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The lack of human interaction can lead to the other mental health issues mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognition disorders like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The issue is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. People may stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or maybe they hold some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will need to learn them all over again. It’s important to let your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you start hearing better get in touch with us.