Slowing the onset of dementia

A number of recent studies looking at hearing loss and hearing aid use in senior adults have pointed to a correlation between the degree of hearing loss and a greater risk of dementia, especially for those who chose not to manage their hearing loss with amplification.

Posted Thursday April 16, 2020

A recent study published from the University of Melbourne assessed 99 adults, ranging in age from 60–84 years, with a degree of hearing loss. The group were assessed for cognitive function and other measures, including quality of life, isolation, mood and health, before and after their hearing aids were fitted. 

After 18 month’s of hearing aid use the study looked at the benefits and differences they might have made. They, like earlier studies, found that severity of hearing loss affects mental processing, and also noted that when hearing aids are worn consistently they can assist the thinking process.

The researchers also found that the greater the use of hearing aids, the greater the overall benefit, suggesting more use is better (just like us friendly audiologists always recommend).

To summarise, if you are middle-aged or older and have hearing loss, getting and consistently wearing hearing aids could help slow down or arrest the onset of dementia.

Sarant, J., et al. “The effect of hearing aid use on cognition in older adults: Can we delay decline or even improve cognitive function?” Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2020, 9, 254; doi:10.3390/jcm9010254

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