Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and stave off conditions like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most significant. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all connected to neglected hearing loss. This article will outline the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent problem.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out several studies over the years to examine the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The same story was revealed by each study: individuals 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 impaired hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a link between these conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more valuable energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Hearing loss can also have a serious impact on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there may even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially active, as noted, is the best way to safeguard 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 isolation instead. The mental problems listed above are typically the outcome of the lack of human contact and can inevitably produce serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and fight disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The issue 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. People might avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they have some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are circumstances where specific sounds will have to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. It’s important to help 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 give us a call.