Make no mistake: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and fend off disorders such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Numerous studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to untreated hearing loss. What follows 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 working at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to determine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. 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 people with healthy hearing.
Though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is certainly a link. The leading theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that tasks such as cognition and memory, which demand more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Your mental health can also be severely impacted by hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even affect schizophrenia. All of these disorders also lead to cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the best ways to maintain your mental acuity is to remain socially engaged. Frequently, people who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The lack of human interaction can lead to the other mental health problems mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Acute With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and combat conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, most people who require hearing aids don’t wear them. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from 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.
There are situations where certain sounds will have to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. It’s important to let your brain go back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by preventing this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Get in touch with us today to find out what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.