Let’s be clear: there are a few ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and stave off conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Staying social is one of the most significant while engaging in the workforce appears to be another. No matter the method, though, managing hearing loss through hearing aids makes these activities a great deal easier and contributes in its own way to combating cognitive problems.
Numerous studies show that the conditions listed above are all connected to untreated hearing loss. This article will lay out the relationship between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can reduce the likelihood of these conditions becoming an impending issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
The link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been studied numerous times over the years by researchers 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 demonstrated, 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 link between these conditions. The primary theories indicate that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that activities such as cognition and memory, 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.
Hearing loss can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been linked to hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. All of these conditions also produce cognitive decline – as mentioned above, one of the optimum ways to maintain your mental acuity is to remain socially active. In many examples, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious around others, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental issues listed above are frequently the outcome of the lack of human contact and can inevitably lead to serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognition conditions such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Unfortunately, most people who need hearing aids don’t use them. People may stay away from hearing aids because they’ve had a negative experience in the past or perhaps they have some kind of stigma, 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 an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some common sounds and will need to relearn them. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from occurring in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will enable your brain to focus on other, more essential tasks.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.