Maybe We Should Call Them Brain Aids

The Wall Street Journal published an article (Health-Care Technology section, Feb. 7, 2019), titled “Hear Better, Think Better,”  in which the link between hearing and cognitive abilities is explored.  The article cites multiple research studies that confirm what scientists have suspected, that there is a link between hearing loss and cognitive declines in thinking and memory.

The good news is that hearing aids can boost brain function.  The Journal of American Geriatrics Society published a study that found that the rate of cognitive decline slowed after participants started wearing hearing aids.  Another study by the University of Maryland said that hearing aids boost brain function, citing two groups of individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who were tracked for six months.  Most of the hearing aid users showed improvement in working memory and neural speech processing, and a greater ease of listening.

These recent studies follow other published research of the past couple of years in which hearing loss was linked to other health and social problems, such as falls, depression and increased financial burden.  A study published in the JAMA Otolaryngology journal in November said that health-care costs for those with hearing loss are 46% higher over a decade than for those without hearing loss, in part due to increased hospitalizations.

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, give the audiologists at JC Audiology a call (813-949-1331).  They are dedicated to help you keep your hearing and brain healthy and strong.