Dementia is considered an existential threat to people who are diagnosed with the disease and their caretakers as well. It gradually erodes patients’ most vital abilities at a time of life when the resources of people dealing with disease are already limited. Well, a methodical review of a scientific study has revealed that the use of hearing aids might help people avert the disease.
In preliminary evidence, scientists have found that hearing aids can help keep the human brain young and fit as people start to age. Scientists from Singapore have assessed nearly eight long-term studies that have been conducted on adults who have been dealing with hearing issues. They have found that people who have been using hearing aids are at a 19 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with cognitive decline as compared to those who do not use any type of hearing aid. A follow-up of a meta-analysis of 11 studies that have focused on hearing loss has shown that people who have been using hearing aids have performed 3 percent better on short-term cognitive tests as compared to those who do not use hearing aids.
Experts have said that the findings of the review clearly show that using hearing aids might be highly beneficial for the health of the human brain. However, to fully validate the findings of the review, there is a need for further rigorous randomized trials.
The authors of the analysis have said it is not the first time hearing loss has been linked to cognitive disorders; rather, hearing loss has been one of the leading risk factors for dementia, along with smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
In 2016, a group of experts from Harvard University found that patients diagnosed with hearing loss who used hearing aids were able to perform better and faster in memory and attention tests. These outcomes led scientists to wonder whether hearing aids could help delay cognitive decline in people who were dealing with hearing loss.
In 2021, an organized review showed mixed outcomes for this theory. Some studies that were included in the review showed no effect of hearing aids on cognitive decline, while other studies showed positive outcomes. However, a new meta-analysis has revealed that hearing aids have multiple benefits for dementia. It suggests that hearing aids have positive effects on the brain and help maintain the health of the human brain.
The authors of the study say that people who are dealing with hearing loss can hear loud and crisp sounds with the help of hearing aids, and this effect helps restore and reinforce lost neural connections. They have claimed that hearing devices are usually specifically tuned to a patient’s type of hearing loss, and there is a possibility this effect might help reform certain parts of the brain.
The authors of the meta-analysis have said that the majority of human interactions depend on sound. Memory, speech, and language comprehension are meticulously linked in the brain. On the other hand, cognitive decline or dementia as well is closely linked to the damage to certain regions in the brain that help regulate language ability.
In such a case, hearing aids help keep those regions of the brain active by exercising them regularly, like a muscle. Another study shows that people who are dealing with hearing loss utilize more cognitive energy in listening that drains cognitive power, which is required to focus on something or recall what they are listening to. Hearing aids decrease patients’ overall cognitive load and allow them to recall and focus in a better way.
One of the studies shows that people who are diagnosed with hearing loss find it hard to interact socially that often leads to loneliness, which appears to be one of the risk factors for dementia. These days, dementia is one of the leading causes of death and disability across the globe. Experts predict that the number of dementia cases is going to increase threefold by 2050.
Hearing loss is linked to a 9 percent increased risk of dementia, therefore, if hearing aids can avert or delay cognitive decline among high-risk patients, it might be able to reduce the number of dementia cases as well worldwide. The findings of the meta-analysis have been published in a journal known as JAMA Neurology.
Devoted my whole life to words - reading, writing and trying to be original on social media. Got certified in digital marketing - still not cool enough to be an influencer. Finished a master’s degree focused in Literature, Publishing, Mass Media. Hobbies include traveling, reading and hoping that yoga will be the thing to finally teach me some patience. Would like to take over the world at some point, but that’s an optional dream. Maybe modern tech can help me do that?