Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and fend off disorders such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most significant. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive issues.
Numerous studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to neglected hearing loss. The following 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 running 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 researchers at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: cognitive decline was more common with people who suffer from hearing loss. Actually, one study showed that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Even though dementia isn’t specifically caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means your brain is spending more precious energy on fairly simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like memory or cognitive functions.
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 could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to maintain your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The lack of human contact can cause the other mental health problems mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and fight conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, most people who require hearing aids don’t wear them. It may be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people using 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 damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will have to relearn them. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from occurring in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will permit your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us today to learn what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.