Make no mistake: Keeping your mind sharp and avoiding cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be accomplished in a number of ways. Staying socially active is one of the most essential while participating in the workforce seems to be another. Whatever methods are used to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be immensely 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 using hearing aids can minimize the probability 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 numerous times over the years by scientists at Johns Hopkins. The same story was told by each study: individuals with hearing loss experienced dementia and cognitive decline in higher rates than those without. In fact, one study demonstrated that people with hearing loss were 24% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with healthy hearing.
Even though dementia isn’t directly caused by hearing loss there is definitely a link. The leading theories suggest that your brain must work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that activities such as cognition and memory, which require more energy, can’t function at full capacity because your brain has to use so much of that energy on more simple tasks.
Hearing loss can also have a serious impact on your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and social isolation have all been associated with hearing loss and there could even be a connection with schizophrenia. Remaining socially active, as noted, is the best way to safeguard your mental health and preserve your cognitive ability. Frequently, people who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The mental issues mentioned above are frequently the outcome of the lack of human contact and can ultimately produce serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognition disorders like Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Unfortunately, most people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. People may steer clear of hearing aids because they’ve had a bad 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 harmed for a prolonged amount of time, the brain may forget how to recognize some everyday sounds and will have 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 begin hearing better give us a call.