"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Hearing aids could drastically reduce the danger of dementia

April 14, 2023 – In adults with hearing loss, using hearing aids could reduce the danger of developing dementia by 42%, a brand new study suggests.

Experts hope that the measures taken on Thursday in The Lancet – Public Healthwill persuade more individuals who need hearing aids to wear one.

Study results show that folks with hearing loss who don't use hearing aids have an overall risk of 1.7% of developing dementia. By using a hearing aid, they'll reduce their risk to the identical level as people without hearing loss, which is 1.2%.

“There is growing evidence that hearing loss may be the most influential modifiable risk factor for dementia in midlife, but the effectiveness of using hearing aids to reduce dementia risk in the real world remains unclear,” said researcher Dongshan Zhu, PhD, professor at China's Shandong University, in a opinion“Our study provides the best evidence to date that hearing aids could be a minimally invasive and cost-effective treatment to mitigate the potential impact of hearing loss on dementia.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 437,704 people within the UK who self-reported whether or not they had hearing loss. The researchers then checked out a mean of 12 years of follow-up data from everybody to see whether anyone had received a dementia diagnosis based on hospital or death records.

The average age of the study participants was 56 years and 54% were women. About one in 4 reported hearing loss, but only 12% of them used hearing aids.

The positive effects of using a hearing aid reduced the danger of developing any type of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, which is essentially the most common form. CDC estimates that 5.8 million people within the United States suffer from dementia. The general term refers to a reduced ability to recollect, think, or make decisions that's severe enough to interfere with each day activities.

Last 12 months, the FDA allowed hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter and online and not using a prescription. The agency said its Goal The goal was to make hearing aids more cost-effective in order that more of the estimated 30 million adults who may gain advantage from a hearing aid would use one. Over-the-counter models cost anywhere from just a few hundred to over $2,000.

In a comment Two experts from University College London, publishing alongside the study, noted that hearing impairment could also be underestimated because people self-report their hearing loss, as many persons are unaware of their problem. In addition, “people who use hearing aids may have better access to financial, social or cognitive resources to look after their health than people with hearing loss without hearing aids,” wrote Dr Gill Livingston and Dr Sergi Costafreda, each from the school's psychiatry department.

They called the brand new findings “convincing.”

“Now is the time to raise awareness of hearing loss and its detection, as well as improve the acceptance and usability of hearing aids,” they wrote.