A growing body of scientific research suggests a direct correlation between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline.

The Intricate Connection Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline: A Deep Dive Into the Science With Audicles Hearing Services

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Cognitive Decline & Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

The detrimental effects of untreated hearing loss go beyond difficulties in communication. A growing body of scientific research suggests a direct correlation between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline.

If you or a loved one has noticed signs of hearing loss and has not yet sought treatment, this article might prove a critical read. The statistics shared in various research papers on this subject are genuinely concerning.

The Groundbreaking Meta-Analysis: A Close Look at the Evidence

In December 2022, a groundbreaking study was published in JAMA Neurology, offering an in-depth analysis of the connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline.

The meta-analysis, which involved 137,484 participants across 31 studies, was one of the most extensive studies ever conducted on this topic. It comprised 25 observational studies and six trials, encompassing 13 studies from Europe, 12 from North America, three from Asia, and two from Australasia.

The research assessed the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline over durations ranging from two to 25 years.

Critical Findings From the Meta-Analysis: The Impact of Hearing Aids

This landmark study reveals two significant findings that underscore the vital role of hearing aids in mitigating cognitive decline.

Firstly, the use of hearing aids was associated with a 19 percent reduction in long-term cognitive decline.

As highlighted by senior study author Dr. Benjamin Tan, “Dementia is far easier to prevent than treat, and exceedingly difficult to reverse.”

Secondly, and encouragingly, even patients who had already developed mild cognitive impairment (“early dementia”) benefited from using hearing aids. They had an approximately 20 percent lower risk of progressing to dementia. The study underscores the critical fact that it’s never too late to start using hearing aids. However, early intervention can be instrumental in preserving 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.” – The key finding from the study

Key Takeaways: Prioritizing Hearing Health Is Crucial

Many people are diligent about regular checkups for teeth, eyes, and overall health, but too often, hearing health is neglected. The findings of the aforementioned study highlight the critical importance of regular hearing checkups.

A simple, quick, noninvasive hearing test can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your hearing health and the necessary steps to care for it and maintain it over the long term.

Audicles Hearing Services: Your Partner in Hearing Health

Audicles Hearing Services has been a trusted provider of audiology services in San Antonio since 1944. We are committed to leveraging our deep expertise and state-of-the-art technology to create personalized treatment plans for our patients.

If you’re concerned about your hearing, we’re here to help. We are currently accepting new patients. Call us at (210) 820-0525 to schedule a convenient date/time for your visit. Alternatively, you can request a callback, and a friendly member of our team will reach out to answer any questions that you may have.

Untreated hearing loss can worsen over time, leading to potentially severe cognitive health implications. Don’t wait for your condition to deteriorate. Take action now!

Preserve your cognitive health

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Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Board began her career in audiology after completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and the doctoral program at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has been fortunate to work in a plethora of healthcare and educational settings. As a result, she has perfected the art of effective adult and pediatric treatment. When she is not at the clinic, Dr. Board works directly with her state and national organizations to not only improve the quality of audiological healthcare in Texas, but also to advocate for her patients.