Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most notable. Whichever methods you employ to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously 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 decrease the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to analyze the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was told by each study: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study demonstrated that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy 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 overtime according to leading theories. That means that tasks like memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be significantly impacted by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and may even influence schizophrenia. All of these conditions also lead to cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the optimum ways to preserve your mental acuity is to remain socially engaged. Frequently, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental problems listed above are frequently the result of the lack of human interaction and can inevitably produce significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The issue is that only one in 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 perhaps they have some kind of stigma, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
There are situations where certain sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from happening in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
Contact us today to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.