Make no mistake: Keeping your mind clear and preventing cognitive disorders including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most noteworthy. Whichever methods you employ to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
These disorders, according to many studies, are frequently directly linked to hearing loss. This article will outline the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can decrease the probability of these conditions becoming an impending problem.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been analyzed 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.
Even though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. The leading theories suggest that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that activities like cognition and memory, which require more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a significant affect on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and may even affect schizophrenia. All of these conditions also lead to cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the optimum ways to maintain your mental sharpness is to remain socially active. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to seclusion instead. The mental problems mentioned above are frequently the outcome of the lack of human contact and can ultimately lead to significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Faculties
Hearing aids are perhaps one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and combat conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people 50 or older who deal with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It could be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been shown to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
When your hearing is damaged for a prolonged amount of time, the brain could forget how to recognize some common sounds and will have to relearn them. It’s essential to help your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by stopping this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.