Let’s be clear: there are several ways that you can preserve your mental acuteness and stave off conditions such as dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and involvement in the workforce are among the most significant. Whichever methods you employ to combat cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and wearing hearing aids if you need them will be immensely helpful.
These conditions, according to numerous studies, are often directly connected to hearing loss. This article will outline the relationship between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how using hearing aids can minimize the likelihood of these conditions becoming an impending problem.
The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have carried out numerous studies over the years to examine the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss. The results of each study told the same story: people with hearing loss experienced 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 individuals who have impaired hearing.
Hearing loss alone does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between the two conditions. The primary theories suggest that your brain has to work overtime when you can’t effectively process sounds. That means that activities like memory and cognition, 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.
Your mental health can also be seriously impacted by hearing loss. Anxiety, social isolation, and depression have all been associated with 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 best ways to preserve your mental acuity is to stay socially active. In many cases, hearing loss causes individuals to feel self-conscious out in public, which means they’ll turn to isolation instead. The mental problems listed above are frequently the result of the lack of human contact and can inevitably produce significant cognitive decline.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
One of the best resources we have to fight dementia and other cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. The problem is that only one out of seven of the millions of people 50 or older who suffer from hearing impairment actually use a hearing aid. It may be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people from hearing aids, but in fact, hearing aids have been proven to help people preserve their cognitive function by helping them hear better.
There are situations where particular sounds will have to be relearned because they’ve been forgotten after extended hearing damage. A hearing aid can either prevent that scenario from happening in the first place or assist you in relearning those sounds, which will let your brain focus on other, more important tasks.
If you want to learn what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.