It is pretty much common knowledge that hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline if left untreated. Untreated hearing loss may cause additional stress and frustration, social isolation, and decline in the neural auditory connections of the brain. At this point, cognitive decline is nearly impossible to defeat but, when a person uses hearing aids to prevent these side effects, they may just be able to fend off this hearing loss related cognitive decline.
The study was called Self-Reported Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-year Study and it was lead by professor Hélène Amieva, a Neuropsychology and Epidemiology of Aging at the University of Bordeaux, France. The study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society followed over 3,500 adults ages 65 and older for 25 years to study the effects of aging on the brain. During this time, researchers studied participants who had hearing loss and used hearing aids, participants who had hearing loss and did not use hearing aids, and participants who did not have hearing loss which acted as the control group. They found that there was no difference in the rate of cognitive decline between the control group and the hearing loss group. Meaning all groups were subject to age related cognitive decline however they did find that those with hearing loss and no hearing aids were more likely to suffer from cognitive decline sooner than people with hearing loss who wear hearing aids. This means that precious years were taken off of their lives sooner than it should have been, and it could have been prevented if the participants had used hearing aids. The study also pointed out that nearly 75% of people who could benefit from a hearing aid, are not likely to go forth and seek help from a doctor. This is for a variety of reasons, but if you know a loved one who could benefit from a hearing aid, this may just help motivate them to finally make that call to the audiologist for a hearing test.
At Krista Szalc, Audiology, PLLC, we take pride in being able to help you with your hearing. Our audiologist can help you walk through the entire process of finding the perfect hearing aid to help treat your hearing loss, so you are never alone or confused about what is best for you. Contact us today to learn more about our hearing exams and to schedule an appointment time for you to come in!