Let’s be clear: there are a number of ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and ward off conditions like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying socially active is one of the most significant while participating in the workforce appears to be another. No matter the method, though, managing hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities a great deal easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive issues.
These disorders, according to many studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious problems 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
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to examine the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was told by each study: cognitive decline was more common with individuals who experience hearing loss. One study demonstrated, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more valuable energy on fairly simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes like cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be significantly impacted by hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and might even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many cases, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human interaction can produce 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 fight dementia and other cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are circumstances where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. 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 start hearing better give us a call.