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The Impact of Hearing Loss & Hearing Aid Technology on Cognitive Function

Apr 9, 2018 | Blog

Elderly patients with hearing loss have been found to have a higher risk of decreased cognitive function. According to studies, they are more likely to develop issues with thinking and remembering than those their age with normal hearing. One way to avoid this problem is with the use of the best hearing aids for their situation. Take a look at the impact of reduced hearing and hearing aid technology on memory and other cognitive functions.

Impact of Hearing Loss

Studies conducted over six years showed that volunteers with lessened hearing declined 30 to 40 percent more rapidly than those with normal hearing. The levels of declining cognitive function were directly related to how much hearing reduction a person had, and elders with sound loss developed significant problems over 3 years sooner than those who can hear well. Loss of hearing should not be overlooked as it can cause serious long-term problems for an otherwise healthy brain.

As for causes of the decline, it is possible that it stems from social isolation – loneliness is a well-known risk factor for cognitive loss. It could also be that the brain is spending too much energy processing sound and denying the energy needed to think and come up with short and long-term memories. Or there may be an underlying, common damage that causes both cognitive issues and hearing reduction. Studies have actually shown a link between loss of hearing and accelerated brain tissue loss. Whatever the cause, it’s important to treat the problem with the best hearing aids.

Hearing Aids Help

In an additional study, elderly patients who wore hearing aids had significantly better results in cognitive testing than those without, despite how reduced their original hearing levels might be. Those in the study who didn’t wear hearing aids had far lower scores than those who wore them, even though those with hearing aids sound loss was worse. Non-users with worse hearing had lower scores than those with better hearing abilities. This shows that using a hearing aid may be an effective way to slow down or prevent dementia in older adults by keeping them from becoming isolated. By using communication and conversation – their brains stay sharp.

If you or someone you know is experiencing age-related hearing reduction, it’s important to get it checked out and treated. You could be saving yourself from a sharper incline into memory loss and other cognitive issues. Our Oklahoma hearing clinic can help you find the best hearing aid for your situation to make it easier for you to continue to function normally.

Contact Oklahoma Hearing Center today at 405-562-1810 to schedule an appointment to learn more.