Make no mistake: there are a number of ways that you can maintain your mental acuity and fend off disorders such as cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement and participation in the workforce are among the most significant. Whichever methods are used to deal with cognitive decline, however, keeping your hearing strong and using hearing aids if you need them will be tremendously helpful.
Numerous studies show that the disorders listed above are all connected to neglected hearing loss. This article will lay out the connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss and how wearing hearing aids can decrease the likelihood of these conditions becoming an imminent issue.
How Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have conducted numerous studies over the years to determine the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The results of each study told the same story: individuals 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 people who have diminished hearing.
Hearing loss by itself does not cause dementia, but there is a connection between these conditions. When you can’t properly process sound your brain has to work overtime according to leading theories. That means that tasks such as memory and cognition, which demand 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 affect on your mental health. Research has shown that hearing loss is connected to depression, social isolation, anxiety, and might even influence schizophrenia. All of these conditions also produce cognitive decline – as noted above, one of the optimum ways to preserve your mental sharpness is to stay socially active. Often, people who have hearing loss will resort to self isolation because they feel self conscious in public. The mental issues listed above are commonly the outcome of the lack of human interaction and can inevitably lead to serious cognitive decline.
Keeping Your Mental Faculties Sharp With Hearing Aids
One of the best resources we have to combat dementia and other cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s is hearing aids. Sadly, the majority of people who require hearing aids don’t wear them. It could be a stigma or a previous bad experience that keeps people using hearing aids, 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 an extended amount of time, the brain may forget how to identify some everyday sounds and will need to relearn them. It’s essential to help 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 learn what options are available to help you start hearing better give us a call.