Hearing Loss and Dementia: Hearing Aids Might Reduce Dementia Risk
When a person has hearing loss, hearing aids are often recommended to help improve upon the patient’s ability to hear. Many do not fully appreciate their ability to hear until it starts to decline. Unfortunately, some people like to live in denial about what’s happening or may not notice they are suffering from impaired hearing until it becomes blatantly apparent. However, when a person does come to terms with his or her hearing loss, they don’t always take advantage of what hearing aids have to offer. Many may not realize that hearing aids can have an impact on some of the common health problems that aging adults often face. Current studies are starting to reveal the connection between impaired hearing and specific common health issues, such as hearing loss and dementia.
According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, using a hearing aid for people with hearing loss is associated with a reduced risk of three common aging health problems. Falls, depression, and dementia are all at a lower risk if the person is using hearing aids. Previous studies have also been done that show the relationship between hearing loss and dementia, and this study only adds to the growing body of research. Study author, Elham Mahmoudi says that this is the most extensive study to date that looks at this possible connection, as this study suggests that by wearing hearing aids, a person might be able to help delay the onset of dementia. To get this information, researchers examined insurance claims from 114,862 adults who are over the age of 66 and have hearing loss. These insurance claims were between the years of 2008 and 2016, and the researcher’s used this information to determine which people had been prescribed a hearing and those who had not. They then compared this information to see who was later diagnosed with a fall-related injury, depression, or dementia.
While no study offers concrete proof (yet) that there is a definitive link between hearing loss and dementia, especially since we aren’t clear on what causes Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, the upside for using a hearing aid device to help hearing loss can be substantial. If you are suffering from impaired hearing, a hearing aid can help improve your quality of life. If it also helps lower your risk or prevent dementia from forming, that’s the cherry on top.
If you are suffering from hearing loss, and are wondering if a hearing aid can help improve the quality of your life, contact us today!