Wearing hearing aids may prevent dementia: Research

MN Report 12:46 PM, 13 Dec, 2022
Wearing hearing aids may prevent dementia: Research

SINGAPORE: A new research published in JAMA Neurology has now revealed that wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants has been proven to reduce the risk of dementia by 19% in geriatric patients.

“We’ve seen in previous research that sensory impairments, like hearing loss, are associated with a higher risk for dementia. But this research tells us that addressing hearing loss, by wearing hearing restorative devices such as hearing aids may reduce cognitive decline.”

said Dr Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific relations at Alzheimer’s Association.

Through several researches done over the years, it is evident that age-related hearing loss can affect the risk of dementia in old age patients through the following processes:

  1. Changes in the ear and brain cortex
  2. Lower social interactions may decrease brain function
  3. Hearing loss emphasizes a cognitive burden on other functions
  4. Changes in the brain may coss both hearing loss and dementia simultaneously

In this study, scientists identified 3,243 studies. Of these, 31 studies were analysed, a cumulative participants in the studies were 137484 participants. 

Hearing correction seemed to reduce most varieties cognitive impairment and decline including mild cognitive impairment (MCI), transformation of MCI to dementia, and end stage dementia by 19%.

The researchers also analysed cognitive test scores for the participants before and after using hearing aids to prove that  a 3% improvement in was seen in scores after the devices were used.