Hearing loss brings with it more than the obvious impairment of auditory perception. A large number of scientifically reviewed studies reveal alarming correlations between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline, emphasizing the profound implications of neglected hearing health.
Scrutinizing the Pioneering Research
A landmark study published in JAMA Neurology in December 2022 provides a comprehensive understanding of the connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline.
The research, encompassing 31 sub-studies with 137,484 participants, stands as the most in-depth investigation conducted on the topic. Spanning Europe, North America, Asia, and Australasia, it evaluated the association between hearing loss and cognitive decline over a duration of two to 25 years.
Principal Findings: The Role of Hearing Aids
The study unveiled two significant findings that highlight the essential role of hearing aids in addressing cognitive decline.
The first finding shows that using hearing aids was linked to a 19 percent reduction in long-term cognitive decline. As the senior study author Dr. Benjamin Tan noted, “Dementia is far easier to prevent than treat, and exceedingly difficult to reverse.”
The second finding indicates that even patients with early stages of cognitive impairment, or “early dementia,” could benefit from hearing aids. Patients with early stages of cognitive impairment showed a 20 percent lower risk of progressing to full-blown dementia, highlighting that it’s never too late to start using hearing aids, and early intervention may help to preserve cognitive function.
“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.”
– A key takeaway from the study
Essential Observations: Prioritizing Hearing Health
This in-depth research underscores the crucial role of regular hearing checks in maintaining overall health. While many individuals prioritize dental and eye checkups and regular physical exams, the importance of hearing health often remains overlooked.
Fox Valley ENT: Your Trusted ENT Experts
At Fox Valley ENT, we’ve been the trusted ear, nose, and throat doctors in the Fox Valley area since 1980. We understand the significant connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive challenges, and we are committed to delivering personalized care and advanced solutions to our patients.
If you or a loved one is concerned about your hearing, we’re here to help. We currently have appointments available for new patients. Please call us at our respective offices to schedule a convenient date/time for your visit. Alternatively, you can request a callback, and a friendly member of our team will call you and answer any questions you may have.
With untreated hearing loss potentially worsening over time, don’t delay in seeking help.