Make no mistake: Keeping your mind sharp and preventing cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Remaining socially active is one of the most important while participating in the workforce seems to be another. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a great deal easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive issues.
Many studies show that the disorders listed above are all linked to neglected hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can lead to extreme problems 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 connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been analyzed numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: cognitive decline was more common with people who experience hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in people who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. When you can’t effectively process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means your brain is spending more valuable energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more advanced processes such as memory or cognitive functions.
Your mental health can also be significantly impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been associated with hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these disorders also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the optimum ways to preserve your mental acuity is to stay socially active. Frequently, people who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The lack of human interaction can cause the other mental health issues listed above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and fight conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t use them. People might steer clear of 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.
There are circumstances 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 happening in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
Get in touch with us today to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.