Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can maintain your mental acuteness and fend off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. No matter the method, though, treating hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a lot easier and contributes in its own way to battling cognitive issues.
Numerous studies show that the conditions listed above are all connected to neglected hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to serious 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.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to determine the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was revealed by each study: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. One study revealed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Though dementia isn’t specifically caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. The primary theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that tasks such as cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a severe affect 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 protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many instances, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human contact can cause the other mental health issues mentioned above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to combat dementia and other cognition disorders like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Unfortunately, the majority of people who require hearing aids don’t wear them. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and preserve their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
There are situations where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. It’s important to let your brain go 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 learn what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.