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Hearing aids may enhance your brain

Ear Health

A recent study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience earlier this year indicates hearing aids may enhance your cognitive (brain) function.

As you may have already heard, hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of decreased cognitive function and dementia. It is important to know that hearing loss does not cause dementia, but research has found a strong correlation, or relationship, between the two. In fact, hearing loss is considered a modifiable risk factor for dementia, as you can pro-actively change your behaviors and activities to protect or preserve your hearing. However, it was not clear if someone already had hearing loss whether treating the hearing loss with hearing aids could help reduce their risk for cognitive decline and/or dementia.

Drs. Glick and Sharma at the University of Colorado Boulder found that those with untreated, age-related hearing loss had abnormal changes in their brains, slower processing speeds, 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 when in noise, they had faster processing speeds, improved working memory, and increased cognitive function.

Three other recent studies are also showing improved cognitive outcomes after being fit with hearing aids.

What does all of this mean? For those with hearing loss, consistent use of hearing aids can improve your overall brain performance. Maybe it’s time to finally do something about your hearing.

Do you have trouble understanding in background noise? Are you struggling to understand someone when they’re wearing a mask? Are you concerned about your memory? Please don’t wait to have your hearing checked. Call our office today for a complimentary hearing consultation!

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