Hearing loss is the most common chronic health condition affecting older adults. Despite numerous studies showing the link between hearing loss and the risk of cognitive decline, less than 75% of people with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids use them. A new study may provide the wake-up call that prompts them to finally seek help for their hearing loss.
The study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found no difference in the rate of cognitive decline between people with no reported hearing loss and people with hearing loss who used hearing aids. By contrast, cognitive decline is significantly accelerated for people who have hearing loss and don’t use hearing aids.
“For the first time we are seeing evidence that hearing aids are a prevention against accelerated cognitive decline associated with hearing loss,” says Dr. Kelly Frost, Au.D. of Advanced Hearing Care. “Researchers agree that cognitive decline is likely related to the lack of social interaction that older adults have because of their hearing loss. The assumption has been that if people use hearing aids and thus become socially active again or are able to maintain an appropriate level of social activity then they would decrease their risk of a more rapid decline in cognitive skills. The new study appears to corroborate those assumptions.”
Frost points out when the sound signals from your ears are compromised by hearing loss, your brain has to work even harder to fill in the gaps. This extra effort can take its toll. “The newest hearing aids with BrainHearing™ technology are designed for your brain, supporting the hard work it does,” she explains. “The result is a more natural, effortless listening experience. This means less demanding mental processing throughout the day so you can engage more actively in everyday life.”
Oticon’s Alta2 with BrainHearing technology provides up to 20% improvement in understanding soft speech so wearers can hear more of the subtle nuances of a conversation. Alta2 comes in a wide range of super sleek and small behind-the-ear and RITE styles as well as comfortable, custom fit in-the-ear styles.