Hearing aids can do more than improve your hearing ability. Research has shown they can also help prevent or delay the onset of cognitive and mental health issues like dementia, depression and anxiety.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive and Mental Health
Researchers at the University of Michigan examined the association between hearing aids and dementia, anxiety or depression. They looked at data from 114,862 adults aged 66 years and older who had been diagnosed with hearing loss within the last three years.
The data showed that participants who used hearing aids had a lower risk of dementia, depression or anxiety within three years of first being diagnosed with hearing loss. Specifically, those who used hearing aids had:
- 18% lower risk of dementia
- 11% lower risk of depression or anxiety
Another study found that compared to those with normal hearing, individuals with hearing loss had an increased risk in dementia. That risk increased significantly as the hearing loss became more severe.
The risk for dementia increased as follows:
- Mild hearing loss = twice as likely
- Moderate hearing loss = three times as likely
- Severe hearing loss = five times as likely
Hearing Aids Help Avoid Isolation
Hearing aids can help you avoid the isolation and loneliness that so often comes with hearing loss. People with untreated hearing loss can feel an urge to retreat from social situations they once enjoyed for fear of not being able to follow conversations or understand what is going on around them. This lack of socialization has been shown to accelerate cognitive decline.
By keeping you connected to the world around you, hearing aids let you engage in the activities you love like:
- See your favorite band live in concert.
- Go out to dinner with friends and family.
- Take an exercise class at Leisure Square.
Early detection of hearing loss is key in helping to protect your cognitive and mental health. The sooner you are treated, the less likely it is that hearing loss will negatively affect your life or keep you from doing activities you enjoy.
Hearing loss is often gradual and starts happening without you even noticing. Scheduling a hearing test can give you an accurate assessment of what your current hearing needs are and give you peace of mind that you are being proactive in protecting your health.
To learn more about the benefits of hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact the experts at Aaron’s Hearing Aid & Audiology Center today.