Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and avoiding cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Whichever methods you employ 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 disorders listed above are all connected to neglected hearing loss. This article will outline the relationship between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can minimize the probability of these conditions becoming an impending issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have conducted several studies over the years to examine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study told the same story: people with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study showed 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 these conditions. The leading theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that tasks like cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The lack of human interaction can produce the other mental health problems listed above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and fight conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
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 allow your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better get in touch with us.