Hearing aids in the ear can improve cognitive skills

Researchers at the University of Melbourne tested hearing aids in the ear in almost 100 adults aged 62 to 82 with hearing loss. Scientists associate impaired brain function with hearing loss, which affects approximately 32 percent of 55-year-olds and more than 70 percent of over-70s. Medicine also identifies hearing loss as a modifiable risk factor for dementia. Although there are successful treatments for it, medical professionals are currently unable to find successful therapy for cognitive decline or dementia.

Hearing aids in the ear against dementia

use hearing aids in the ear and improve cognitive skills

The researchers assessed participants before and 18 months after fitting hearing aids. They tested the subjects on hearing, cognitive function, speech perception, quality of life, physical activity, loneliness, mood and medical health. After 18 months of using hearing aids, the research team found that speech perception, self-reported hearing impairment, and quality of life had improved significantly.

young man puts a hearing aid in the ear of an elderly patient

Above all, 97.3 percent of the study participants showed either a clinically significant improvement or stability of the management function. So this has improved their mental ability to plan, organize, and initiate tasks. Women in particular showed significant improvements in working memory and most other cognitive functions assessed. They used this to think and decide.

Important study results

Doctor shows elderly woman a hearing aid in the hospital room

The study also found that when people use hearing aids often in the ear, it has improved cognitive function. However, women carried the devices much more carefully than men. Julia Sarant is a professor and main researcher at the University of Melbourne. She claims that improved brain function is usually not seen in older adults. She believes that although there are successful treatments for hearing loss, diseases like Alzheimer's or dementia cannot be cured.

“Further research is ongoing to compare the cognitive results of a larger sample with those of a comparison group of older people of healthy age with typical hearing. This study is a positive step in examining the treatment of hearing aids to delay cognitive decline. ”

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