Make no mistake: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most notable. Whichever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be immensely helpful.
These conditions, according to many studies, are frequently directly connected to hearing loss. This article will lay out the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can minimize the likelihood of these conditions becoming an impending problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to examine the connection 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. Actually, one study demonstrated that individuals with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with healthy hearing.
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 spending more valuable energy on relatively simple activities, leaving a lot less of that energy for more challenging processes like memory or cognitive functions.
Hearing loss can also have a severe affect on your mental health. Studies have shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even affect schizophrenia. All of these disorders also lead to cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the optimum ways to maintain your mental acuity is to stay socially active. Frequently, individuals who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The mental problems listed above are typically the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can inevitably lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to preserve mental acuity and combat disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually wear a hearing aid. People might avoid hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they hold some kind of stigma, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and preserve their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is harmed for an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some common sounds and will need to relearn them. 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.
Get in touch with us today to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.