Can Hearing Aids Help Reduce Cognitive Decline?
Recently researchers working for hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, met with Hélène Amieva, Professor of Neuropsychology and Epidemiology of Aging at the University of Bordeaux. She led a study titled ‘Self-Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: a 25-Year Study.’
Professor Amieva’s study looked at 3,670 adults aged 65 years and older.
Her study found that hearing loss is “associated with accelerated cognitive decline,” an outcome that Prof. Amieva says was expected by her team.
“The study done by Hélène Amieva and her colleagues is so groundbreaking because it’s the first time we can say, that when you look at the benefits of hearing aids in the long-term, it’s not only about hearing better, it’s also about how your mental health develops.” Thomas Behrens, Head of Audiology at the Centre for Applied Audiology Research, Oticon A/S
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines cognition as “conscious mental activities or processes – the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.”
Prof. Amieva stresses that “hearing impairment has a huge impact on how our brain functions.”
Wearing hearing aids, which allows us to restore communications abilities – as the professor puts it – can theoretically stave off cognitive decline.
Professor Amieva says she hopes her study can remove stereotypes about aging and hearing loss.
Oticon’s Head of Audiology, Thomas Behrens called Professor Amieva’s research groundbreaking because it provides insight into the effects and possible benefits of hearing instruments and their impact on mental health over a long period of time.
Watch Professor Hélène Amieva talk about her study in her own words.