Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive conditions including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Remaining socially active is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. No matter the method, though, managing hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a great deal easier and contributes in its own way to battling cognitive issues.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are frequently directly linked to hearing loss. This article will lay out the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can minimize the probability of these conditions becoming an impending problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more prevalent with individuals who experience hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in people who have impaired hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. The leading theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means your brain is using more precious energy on relatively simple tasks, leaving a lot less of that energy for more complicated processes such as cognitive function and memory.
Hearing loss can also have a severe affect on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation 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 preserve your mental sharpness is to remain socially engaged. Often, individuals who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The mental issues mentioned above are typically the result of the lack of human interaction and can inevitably produce significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. It may be a stigma or a previous negative 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 circumstances where specific sounds will need 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 stopping this issue in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better give us a call.