How Hearing Aids Can Prevent Cognitive Decline
Over the last few years, researchers have studied the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline, as these conditions are both very common.
One in three people will have hearing loss at age 65 and that number goes up to two in three at age 75. Unfortunately, many seniors suffer from dementia and researchers estimate that the number of people diagnosed each year could triple by 2050.
Hearing loss: a manageable risk factor
Several studies have already shown a connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Obviously some causes, such as genetics, cannot be controlled. However, other risk factors can, including obesity, tobacco use and hearing loss.
The controllable risk factor with the greatest effect is hearing loss, through hearing correction.
Minimize the impact by acting now
Fortunately, people with hearing loss can minimize the impact on their day-to-day life and their health. The benefits of wearing hearing aids have been proven many times: better speech comprehension, better quality of life, less social isolation, among other things.
A recent study looked at whether hearing correction (hearing aids or cochlear implants) has an effect on cognitive decline. The study concluded that the use of hearing aids (or cochlear implants) was associated with a 19% reduction in the risk of cognitive decline.
Given that hearing loss affects a large portion of the elderly population and that wearing hearing aids is an easily accessible solution, doing so is a good way to prevent such decline.
Hearing health professionals to help you
An audiological evaluation is the first step to determine if you have hearing loss and if hearing aids are recommended. Come and meet with one of our audiologists. They will assess your needs and give recommendations specific to your situation.
BY Megan Poirier, Audiologist, Polyclinique de l’Oreille