Let’s be clear: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and ward off conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most essential while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to battling cognitive issues.
Many studies show that the disorders listed above are all linked to untreated hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can cause extreme issues 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.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been analyzed numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The same story was revealed by each study: individuals with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study showed that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a connection. The leading 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 fairly simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even influence schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to safeguard 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 mental problems listed above are commonly the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can inevitably lead to serious cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually wear a hearing aid. People may 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 proven to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is harmed for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will have to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will allow your brain to focus on other, more important tasks.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better get in touch with us.