By 2050, 131 million people are predicted to be living with dementia worldwide.
As scientists and doctors look for treatments and earlier detection methods, they are also focused on finding risk factors that make it more likely a person develops dementia. Knowing these risk factors can help aid in the prevention of the disease.
Hearing loss is one such risk factor that studies have connected to cognitive decline and dementia. Because of that, research has looked into whether the use of hearing aids could help prevent cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.
Hearing loss and dementia
A 2011 study followed 639 patients between the ages of 36 and 90 for 12 years to measure their hearing and cognitive abilities. Researchers found that patients who experienced hearing loss were more at risk for dementia. The more severe the hearing loss, the higher the risk of dementia became.
Can Hearing Aids Help Prevent Dementia?
Research has shown that patients who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids reduce their odds of cognitive decline or at least can help delay the onset.
One study examined participants between the ages of 62-82 before getting hearing aids and then again 18 months after. They found that wearing hearing aids resulted in significant improvement in cognition and overall quality of life.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society followed 2,040 US citizens 50 years and older for 18 years and found that the use of hearing aids slowed down the process of cognitive decline by 75%.
Hearing Loss and Isolation
Hearing loss contributes to isolation. When you struggle with your hearing you may not want to be around people as much or engage in conversation. This isolation can accelerate cognitive decline and dementia.
Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids gives you the confidence to increase your social interactions. Things like going to the movies or dining out with friends at Boulevard Bistro aren’t just fun, they are essential to your overall well-being. Don’t let hearing loss take that away from you.