I wrote about this topic last October in a post called Hearing Aid use can Slow Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. An article in The Pilot News yesterday by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D., titled “Now hear this — and keep dementia at bay“, reiterates the point and prompted me to discuss the issue again. Per the article, when you address your hearing loss and wear your hearing aids, “You strengthen your connection to the outside world and protect your brainpower.” The article cites a study that shows that, “Getting a hearing aid as soon as you start to lose acuity is an important way to reduce your risk of Dementia.”
I found another good article on this topic here: Dementia and Cognitive Decline – the hidden risks of hearing loss
While I haven’t done clinical studies, I can speak to the the huge change I see in some patients once they regain hearing through new hearing aids. I’ve had nursing home clients brought in with their attendant telling me they are non-responsive. Some of these clients light up when they are able to hear again and participate with the world around them. More than one “grumpy old man” has become my friend after we are able to communicate… When these things happen, I’m reminded why I love my job!
Don’t accept cognitive decline as inevitable or just part of growing old. If hearing loss is a contributing factor, see your Doctor of Audiology (Me!) and find out if there is something that can be done to help!