Let’s be clear: Keeping your mind sharp and preventing cognitive disorders including dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in numerous ways. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most significant. Whichever methods you employ to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
These conditions, according to many studies, are often directly linked to hearing loss. This article will lay out the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been examined several times over the years by researchers at Johns Hopkins. The results of each study revealed the same story: people with hearing loss suffered from dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. One study showed, in fact, that there was a 24% higher instance of Alzheimer’s in people who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. The primary theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. 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 simple tasks.
Your mental health can also be severely impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there might even be a connection with schizophrenia. Staying socially engaged, as mentioned, is the best way to protect your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Often, people who have hearing loss will turn to self isolation because they feel self conscious around other people. The lack of human contact can produce the other mental health issues listed above and eventually lead to cognitive impairments.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are probably one of the best tools we have to maintain mental acuity and combat conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The issue is that only one out of seven of the millions of people over the age of 50 who deal with hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. People may stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or maybe they hold some kind of stigma, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven 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 identify some common sounds and will need to relearn them. It’s important to let your brain get back to processing more important tasks and hearing aids can do just that by preventing this problem in the first place and helping you relearn any sounds the brain has forgotten.
Get in touch with us today to discover what options are available to help you start hearing better in this decade and beyond.