Make no mistake: there are a few ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and fend off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying social is one of the most essential while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Many studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to untreated hearing loss. This article will outline the relationship between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can reduce the probability of these conditions becoming an impending problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out several studies over the years to examine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The same story was revealed by each study: cognitive decline was more common with people who suffer from hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have impaired hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. The primary theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means your brain is using more precious energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes like memory or cognitive functions.
Your mental health can also be severely impacted by hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even influence schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to safeguard your mental sharpness is to stay socially engaged. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The mental problems listed above are typically the result of the lack of human contact and can ultimately produce serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to preserve mental sharpness and combat 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 deal with hearing impairment actually wear a hearing aid. It might be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will enable your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.