Make no mistake: there are a few ways that you can preserve your mental acuity and fend off conditions like dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining socially active is one of the most essential while participating in the workforce appears to be another. No matter the method, though, treating hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities much easier and contributes in its own way to preventing cognitive problems.
Numerous studies show that the conditions listed above are all linked to untreated hearing loss. This article will lay out the link 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 scientists at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study told the same story: cognitive decline was more common with people who experience hearing loss. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in individuals who have impaired 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 harder according to leading theories. That means that tasks such as memory and cognition, which demand more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even affect schizophrenia. Staying socially active, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many cases, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The lack of human interaction can produce the other mental health problems mentioned above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to maintain mental sharpness and fight disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people who require hearing aids don’t use them. It may be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people wearing hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people maintain their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some everyday 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.
If you want to find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better give us a call.