Make no mistake: there are a few ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and ward off disorders like cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most notable. No matter the method, though, managing hearing loss by using hearing aids makes these activities a lot easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive problems.
Numerous studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. What follows is a look at why hearing loss can cause serious issues with your mental health and how strategies like hearing aids can help you keep your brain running at a higher level for a longer period of time.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been analyzed numerous times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more common with people who suffer from hearing loss. Actually, one study showed that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. The leading theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that tasks such as memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant affect on your mental health. Studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive clarity. In many cases, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The mental issues listed above are frequently the result of the lack of human interaction and can ultimately produce significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
One of the best tools we have to combat dementia and other cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people wearing hearing aids, but the fact is that they are proven to help people hear better and retain their cognitive functions for longer periods of time.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some common sounds and will need to learn them all over again. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening in the first place or help you relearn those sounds, which will permit your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
Contact us right away to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.