Hearing Aids Show Benefit in Reducing
Cognitive Decline and Dementia
Two studies 1,2 have come out recently showing that patients with hearing loss who wear hearing aids have a slower rate of decline in memory, brain processing, language and tasks requiring thinking quickly when compared to patients with hearing loss that do not wear hearing aids. These studies were adjusted for other factors such as age, gender, education, IQ and associated medical problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. In other words, the studies looked only at hearing loss and found that there was a benefit to wearing hearing aids over not wearing hearing aids if the patient was going to slow the progression of a decline in brain function and dementia.
In addition, one of these studies was done over a 25-year period on the same group of over 3,700 patients! This is a well-done, long-term study providing strong evidence as to the benefits of hearing aids. This 25-year study also demonstrated that it is not just the hearing aid itself that provides these benefits to patients, but the fact that the brain is being stimulated on a continuous basis using effective communication techniques with a properly fit prescription on the hearing aid.
1 Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Study Conducted Within the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study Jennifer A. Deal*, A. Richey Sharrett, Marilyn S. Albert, Josef Coresh, Thomas H. Mosley, David Knopman, Lisa M. Wruck, and Frank R. Lin 2 Self-Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25 Year Study Helene Amieva, PhD, Camille Ouvard, MSc, Caroline Giulioli, MSc, Celine Meillon, MSc, Laetitia Rullier, PhD and Jean-Francois Dartigues, MD, PhD.