A study conducted at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has found that “for individuals older than 60 years, more than one third of the risk of dementia was associated with untreated hearing loss.” The researchers suggested that using hearing aids can help minimize the risk of dementia.
A larger study of nearly 4000 older adults was conducted over 25 years and had similar findings. The adults were divided into 3 groups: (1) hearing loss; (2) hearing loss and no hearing aids and (3) hearing loss with hearing aids. When tested 25 years later, the adults who used hearing aids had no significant difference in mental performance from the group with normal hearing. The group that did not use hearing aids declined more on test of brain function than those who did use hearing aids.
Untreated hearing loss has long been associated with social isolation, anxiety and depression. The use of hearing aids mimimizes that social isolation and may explain the lack of brain function decline in the group that used hearing aids.
Research strongly supports the importance of keeping your hearing active and healthy. It seems that using hearing aids not only reduces the social isolation and depression caused by untreated hearing loss but can also play an important role in keeping your brain healthy.
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