Study: Is there a positive link between hearing aids and the reduction of dementia?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — A new study shows that hearing aids may be an important tool in efforts to prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

Study senior author Wei Xiang Luo, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the National University and the National University of Singapore, said research had shown that hearing loss was an important risk factor for developing dementia, but what was less clear was whether intervention to treat hearing loss limited the progression of deterioration. Cognitive.

The new study, published in JAMA Neurology on Monday, provides evidence that managing hearing loss may help reduce or delay cognitive decline, Luo said.

The research carried out a meta-analysis of 3,243 studies, based on observation and experiment, and looked at the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline over a period of 2 to 25 years. The review found that people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids performed 3% better on short-term cognitive outcomes, according to the study.

The study found that the use of hearing aids was associated with a reduction of long-term cognitive decline by 19%. The study authors note that when it comes to cognitive decline, preventing progression is important.

“It’s much easier to prevent and treat dementia, because it’s very difficult to go back,” said study senior author Dr. Benjamin Tan, a dean’s fellow at Yung Lo Lin College of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.

Hearing loss, which is a significant risk factor for cognitive decline, is easier to correct in developed countries, said Dr. Thomas Holland, a medical scientist at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, who was not involved in the study.

Holland said: “Submit a hearing loss examination, and if you suffer from hearing impairment, talk to an audiologist or an otolaryngologist, to ensure that you receive the appropriate and optimal treatment that helps avoid potential risks of dementia and cognitive decline.”

Is it time to consult your doctor?

The next question to investigate, the researchers said, is whether the severity of hearing loss alters the effectiveness of interventions when it comes to preventing cognitive decline.

In the meantime, Tan said, people with hearing loss should talk to their doctor about whether it is appropriate to use hearing aids.

He added that it is never too early to intervene, pointing out that the new study showed that the benefits accumulate over time.

“Therefore, patients who have an injury must start treatment immediately if they want to benefit within a few years,” Tan continued in his interview with CNN.

He also notes that using these devices may even benefit people who are beginning to show cognitive decline. According to the new research, patients can still see progress even if they don’t add hearing aids early.

“Encouragingly, patients who initially had mild cognitive impairment and early-onset dementia also benefited from using hearing aids, reducing their risk of developing dementia by 20%,” Tan said.

He pointed out, “This means that it is never too late to start using hearing aids, but early treatment may help to preserve most cognitive abilities.”

Holland said hearing aids aren’t the only way to prevent cognitive decline, and it’s important to take a holistic preventative approach.

He continued, “In parallel with examining your hearing by an audiologist or doctor, modify the healthy lifestyle that has been shown to slow or reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.”

Holland indicated that this includes following healthy eating patterns such as the MIND diet, which aims to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, or the Mediterranean diet. It also includes moderate to vigorous physical activity, an active social life, good sleep, and stress reduction.

Holland recommended seeing your primary care physician once a year for a medical evaluation to properly manage your blood sugar and blood pressure, which are important for brain health.

Holland concluded that stimulating cognitive activities, such as visiting museums, reading books, or taking up new hobbies, are also important for stimulating cognitive abilities.


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