Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Staying social is one of the most significant while participating in the workforce appears to be another. Regardless of the method, though, treating hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a lot easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive issues.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. The following is a look at why hearing loss can cause 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.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to analyze the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study revealed the same story: individuals with hearing loss struggled with dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study revealed that people 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 harder according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more valuable energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes like memory or cognitive functions.
Hearing loss can also have a severe affect on your mental health. 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 noted above, one of the best ways to maintain your mental acuity is to remain socially engaged. In many cases, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human contact can produce the other mental health issues mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognition conditions like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. People may steer clear of 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.
When your hearing is damaged for an extended amount of time, the brain could forget how to identify some common 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 assist you in relearning those sounds, which will allow your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better get in touch with us.