Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in several ways. Remaining social is one of the most important while engaging in the workforce seems to be another. Whatever methods you employ to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be extremely helpful.
These disorders, according to numerous studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. This article will outline the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can minimize the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent problem.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to 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 revealed the same story: cognitive decline was more common with individuals who experience hearing loss. In fact, one study demonstrated that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Though dementia isn’t specifically caused by hearing loss there is certainly a connection. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work harder according to leading theories. That means that tasks like memory and cognition, which require more energy, can’t function efficiently because your brain has to spend so much of that energy on more basic tasks.
Your mental health can also be seriously affected by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been associated with hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. In many cases, hearing loss causes people to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental problems listed above are typically the outcome of the lack of human contact and can ultimately lead to significant cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognition conditions like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one in seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who suffer from hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous negative experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people protect their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are situations where certain sounds will need to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after prolonged hearing damage. It’s essential to let your brain go 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 find out what options are available to help you begin hearing better give us a call.