Taking ActionConsumer Reports

Actions

Can hearing aids prevent memory loss?

Female ear closeup
Posted at 3:21 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 20:20:59-04

Social isolation is a frequent consequence of hearing loss. But did you know that poor hearing may also be linked to dementia? Consumer Reports reveals some important information about how hearing aids may be associated with a smaller risk of cognitive decline. That’s not only a boon for those affected but also for their families.

A recent study from the University of Michigan has found that using a hearing aid has been linked to a reduced risk of dementia and other health problems.

The study found that older people who got a hearing aid within three years of receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss had a lower rate of dementia, depression, and falls than people who didn’t get a hearing device.

It’s too early to definitively say whether wearing hearing aids can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. But they can help improve how a person understands and responds to others.

The common red flags for hearing loss are turning up the volume on the TV, frequently asking people to repeat themselves, and missing parts of phone conversations.

Consumer Reports recommends seeking professional immediately help if you experience any hearing loss.

The problem could be something fixable like an infection, earwax buildup, or a damaged ear drum. And if it turns out you do need a hearing aid, an audiologist can help you sort through what will work best.

If you’re worried about how hearing aids look, keep in mind that those clunky beige ones aren’t your only option. Now there are much smaller units, and they can come in all kinds of colors. Plus, with people sporting Bluetooth earphones, it would be hard to tell that yours is a hearing aid!