Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss by using 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 neglected hearing loss. This article will outline the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can decrease the probability of these conditions becoming an impending issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to analyze the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study told the same story: individuals with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. Actually, one study showed that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a link between the two conditions. The leading theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t properly process sounds. That means that activities like memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and might even influence schizophrenia. All of these disorders also lead to cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the best ways to maintain your mental acuity is to stay socially active. 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 problems mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing loss actually wear a hearing aid. People might stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or maybe they hold some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are situations where specific sounds will have to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from occurring in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will permit your brain to focus on other, more important tasks.
Contact us today to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better in this decade and beyond.