(CLEVELAND CLINIC) - A large-scale study has found that wearing hearing aids may be helpful in preventing cognitive decline and dementia. In fact, the results showed participants who used them had a 19% decrease in their risks for long-term cognitive decline.
Doctors say they have known before the study that hearing loss can impact an older individual's cognition. But this study now shows there could be a chance to help prevent that – with the use of hearing devices. Researchers also discovered during the study that hearing devices were significantly associated with a three-percent improvement in cognitive scores that assessed general cognition in the short term. So what does all this mean for the general public? Doctors say the findings highlight the importance of addressing hearing loss sooner than later.
"Formal hearing tests are covered by Medicare and should be part of the work-up for patients who are worried about memory changes and want to be proactive to combat cognitive decline before it sets in," said Dr. Kenneth Koncilja, Cleveland Clinic.
The FDA also recently authorized the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, making the devices more affordable and accessible.