Let’s be clear: there are a number of ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and stave off conditions like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying socially active is one of the most important while participating in the workforce appears to be another. No matter the method, though, treating hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities a great deal easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive issues.
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 impending problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out several studies over the years to analyze the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The same story was revealed by each study: cognitive decline was more prevalent with people who experience hearing loss. One study demonstrated, 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 these conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means your brain is using more valuable energy on fairly simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like cognitive function and memory.
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 could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The lack of human interaction can produce the other mental health problems mentioned above and potentially lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognition disorders such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Unfortunately, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t use them. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are circumstances where particular sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. A hearing aid can either stop that scenario from occurring in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will enable your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.