Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Regardless of the method, though, managing hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive problems.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are frequently directly linked to hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to extreme problems with your mental health and how strategies 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
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined several times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: cognitive decline was more common with individuals who suffer from hearing loss. In fact, one study showed that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. The leading theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly 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 significantly affected by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to anxiety, depression, and may even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many instances, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental issues mentioned above are commonly the result of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are possibly one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and fight disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It could be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some common 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 preventing 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 begin hearing better get in touch with us.