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Hearing Loss and Risk of Dementia

Hearing Aids May Reduce the Risk of Dementia

A new study published by The Lancet in July is one more strong piece of evidence showing the power of hearing aids in slowing down cognitive decline or dementia. We’ve known for years that untreated hearing loss and dementia were related, but this latest study shows people with a high risk of developing dementia could cut that risk by 48% by wearing hearing aids!

The 3-year study followed more than 3000 people, made up of both healthy community volunteers and older adults from a separate long-term study on cardiovascular health. The participants were placed into groups, with some receiving hearing aids and some receiving counseling on health and disease prevention. Subjects were given a comprehensive neurocognitive test every six months during the course of the study. At the end, the participants most at risk for cognitive decline in the hearing aid group showed a substantial difference in cognitive ability when compared to the group without hearing help.

There are many theories on the cause of this link between hearing health and brain health, including increased atrophy in the parts of the brain not being used when hearing loss is present and a decrease in social activity. Many doctors are excited to have another tool to help their patients with dementia and have begun encouraging patients aged 55 and older to have their hearing screened annually. Early diagnosis and treatment of any possible hearing loss can maximize gains and improve quality of life.

Hearing loss used to be seen by many as an inconvenience, but studies show that ignoring a hearing loss, or assuming you hear fine “for your age,” has several long-term effects on wellbeing. You deserve to live your best life without hearing loss holding you back.

Dennison Hearing Solutions has helped hundreds of patients in Hamilton Mill and the surrounding areas, call us today at (770) 209-2627 to schedule your annual hearing check.