Navigating life with untreated hearing loss is challenging enough, but now, a growing body of scientifically reviewed research is revealing a shocking connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline.
Increasingly, these scientific papers are delving deeper into the subject and, alarmingly, they are all pointing in the same direction.
If you or someone close to you are displaying signs of hearing loss and haven’t yet had a hearing test or addressed these challenges, you need to read this article. The data is truly alarming.
A Landmark Study in Understanding Cognitive Decline and Hearing Loss
In late 2022, a groundbreaking study was unveiled, offering the most comprehensive insights yet into the connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. This exhaustive worldwide trial, published by CNN Health, was led by a dedicated team at JAMA Neurology and involved researchers from across the globe.
The study comprised 31 studies involving 137,484 participants, with 13 studies conducted in Europe, 12 in North America, three in Asia, and two in Australasia. This research encompassed 25 observational studies and six trials, investigating the association between hearing loss and cognitive decline over durations ranging from two to 25 years.
At Hometown Hearing, we’ve been emphasizing the link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive issues for a long time. Given that SCD (subjective cognitive decline) affects 11.7% of adults aged 65 years and older, it’s clear to us that more awareness is needed. We are incredibly thankful for this detailed, comprehensive study.
The research also dove deep into the link between cognitive decline and hearing aids/cochlear implants, making it one of the most in-depth studies ever conducted on this topic.
Key Findings of the Study
Two critical discoveries emerged from this landmark study:
1. First, the use of hearing aids was associated with a 19% reduction in long-term cognitive decline.
“Dementia is far easier to prevent than treat, and exceedingly difficult to reverse,
noted the senior study author, Dr. Benjamin Tan from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.
2. Second, the study found that patients who already had mild cognitive impairment (“early dementia”) also benefitted from using hearing aids, experiencing roughly a 20% lower risk of progressing to dementia. This underlines that it’s never too late to start using hearing aids, though early intervention can help maintain cognitive function to a greater degree.
The Conclusive Report
In summarizing the results, the report states:
“In this meta-analysis, the usage of hearing aids and cochlear implants is associated with a decreased risk of subsequent cognitive decline; physicians should strongly encourage their patients with hearing loss to adopt such devices.”
Given that it involved over 137,484 participants, this study is currently the most extensive and conclusive research conducted on the connection between cognitive decline and hearing aids/cochlear implants.
What This Means for You and How Hometown Hearing Can Help
While most of us get our teeth checked regularly, have our eyes tested, and undergo an annual physical, far too many of us still don’t prioritize a hearing test. However, given the increasingly alarming data, we should.
A hearing test is straightforward, quick, and noninvasive. It will allow you to understand your level of hearing and ensure that your hearing health is monitored and addressed appropriately.
At Hometown Hearing, our team of experienced audiologists and hearing specialists are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive hearing tests and personalized care to meet your hearing needs.
If you or a loved one are concerned about your hearing, then we’re here to help.
With appointments for new patients currently available, get in touch to schedule a convenient date/time for your visit.
You can request a callback by clicking here, and a friendly member of our Hometown Hearing team will call you and answer any questions that you may have.
Given the potentially severe consequences of untreated hearing loss, please don’t delay. At Hometown Hearing, we are committed to preserving your hearing health and improving your quality of life.