How Hearing Aids Can Slow Dementia Progression
More than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. So, if you have an older loved one who's showing signs of memory impairment, it's only natural to be concerned. And since hearing loss is also commonly associated with aging, hearing aids could very well improve daily life for individuals with dementia. In fact, hearing aids may even be able to slow the progression of dementia to some extent.
The Link between Dementia and Hearing Loss
Numerous studies suggest a connection between undiagnosed hearing loss and various forms of dementia. In other words, individuals with hearing loss not being managed with hearing aids or other appropriate steps are more likely to develop cognitive impairment than people without hearing loss. It's not a hundred-percent certain that hearing aids can prevent dementia. Still, there is data suggesting hearing aids may slow the onset of dementia.
Hearing Loss Misinterpreted as Dementia
If you have an older loved one who's having a hard time understanding you or misinterpreting what's being said or heard, you may assume you're seeing signs of cognitive impairment. However, the "signs'' you're seeing could entirely disappear when appropriate hearing aids are used. This is precisely why it's important to be regularly checked for hearing loss, especially since many forms of hearing impairment can be corrected with hearing aids.
Speeding Up Dementia Decline
A long-term Johns Hopkins study involving around 2,000 seniors found that participants with hearing loss were nearly 25 percent more likely to have dementia or signs of cognitive impairment. This is when compared to participants without hearing loss or a need for hearing aids.
Additional studies show similar results. Another study involving more than 4,000 seniors without dementia at the start of the study found that about 4 percent more of the participants who had hearing loss later developed dementia than what was seen with subjects without hearing impairment.
Slowing the Rate of Memory Loss
There's no conclusive research showing that hearing aids can reverse or delay dementia. That being said, a 2018 study involving more than 2,000 people 50 and over produced results suggesting hearing aids slowed the rate of progression of certain symptoms related to dementia.
What Are the Best Hearing Aids for Dementia?
There are no hearing aids specifically for wearers with dementia. However, there are hearing aids that can help improve the ability to hear what's being said for somebody with dementia. Also, there are hearing aids that people with dementia may find easier to use and wear. Hearing aids can also improve quality of life for someone with Alzheimer's or similar issues. Lastly, it's just as important for hearing aids to be worn properly and to use hearing aids that correctly address hearing-related needs.
Call Us Today
Even if dementia isn't part of the picture, it's never too soon to address issues with hearing loss – or to explore the possibilities with top-quality Beltone hearing aids. If you or someone your love has concerns about hearing loss, schedule an appointment to visit Beltone Yordon. Our hearing loss specialists routinely help individuals find the right hearing aids for their needs.
Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing assessment and to see if you could benefit from hearing aids.