Make no mistake: there are a number of ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and ward off disorders such as dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying socially active is one of the most important while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Regardless of the method, though, managing hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive issues.
These disorders, according to many studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause extreme issues with your mental health and how solutions like hearing aids can help you keep your brain running at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined numerous times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study told the same story: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. One study demonstrated, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a link between these conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on relatively simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like memory or cognitive functions.
Hearing loss can also have a significant affect 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 mentioned, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The lack of human contact can lead to the other mental health issues mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and combat conditions 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 loss actually use a hearing aid. It could be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and maintain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is harmed for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some common sounds and will have to relearn them. It’s essential to help your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this issue in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Get in touch with us right away to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.