Hearing Aids and Brain Function

Regular Use of Hearing Aids Enhances Brain Function


A recent study published in ‘Frontiers in Neuroscience’ earlier this year (18th Feb 2020) suggested the use of hearing aids enhances cognitive (brain) functionality. As you may have already heard, hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of decreased cognitive function and dementia. There have been many research studies published correlating hearing loss and dementia.

It is important to know that hearing loss does not cause dementia, but research has found a strong correlation between hearing loss and dementia. In fact, hearing loss is considered a modifiable risk factor for dementia, as you can pro-actively change your behaviours and activities to protect or preserve your hearing. However, it was not clear until recently if treating hearing loss with hearing aids could help reduce the risk for cognitive decline and/or dementia in those who already had a hearing loss.

Dr. Glick and Dr. Sharma at the University of Colorado Boulder found that those with untreated, age-related hearing loss had abnormal changes in their brains, slower processing speed, and overall poorer cognitive function than peers with normal hearing. However, when those with hearing loss were treated with hearing aids for 6 months, they found the abnormal changes in their brains had reversed! Additionally, not only were they understanding speech better in the presence of background noise – they had faster processing speeds, improved working memory, and increased cognitive function. Three further recent studies also demonstrated improved cognitive outcomes after being fitted with hearing aids.

What does all this mean? For those with hearing loss, consistent use of hearing aids can improve your overall brain performance. Maybe it is time to finally do something about your hearing. Watch out for following sign and symptoms:

Do you have trouble understanding speech in the presence of background noise?
Are you struggling to understand someone when they are wearing a mask?
Are you concerned about your memory? Unable to remember conversations taken place a few weeks ago?
Do you think people mumble and need to enunciate clearly?
Do you feel movies & documentary films are unintelligible compare to the news?
Do you find younger children are harder to understand than adults?
Do you ask for repeats or struggle to understand people with an accent?
Do you hear ringing or buzzing sounds when no such sounds are present in the environment?

Please do not wait to have your hearing checked. Call one of our clinics located near you today for a complimentary hearing consultation with our experienced team, with a combined experience of over 30 years in paediatric and geriatric audiology nationally & internationally.

Early identification and prevention are the best treatment of all. Since our inception, Natural Hearing has always worked in this direction, placing great importance on collaborating with General Physicians and other health professionals.

Research Study;

Glick, H., & Sharma, A. (2020). Cortical Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Function in Early-Stage, Mild-Moderate Hearing Loss: Evidence of Neurocognitive Benefit From Hearing Aid Use. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14.

Click here for full research paper.

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