Let’s be clear: there are a number of ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and fend off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most significant. Whichever methods are used 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 linked to untreated hearing loss. This article will outline the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent problem.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to analyze the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study told the same story: individuals with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study demonstrated that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
Even though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a connection. The leading theories suggest that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that tasks like memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and may even affect schizophrenia. Remaining socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Often, people who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The mental issues listed above are commonly the outcome of the lack of human contact and can inevitably produce significant 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 issue is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. People may avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a bad experience in the past or perhaps they hold some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some common sounds and will need to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from occurring in the first place or assist you in relearning 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 start hearing better give us a call.