Hearing Aids May Cut Chances of Dementia
A new study has revealed that hearing aids may decrease the risk of dementia in people with higher risk. The study, published in the Lancet, was the first randomized study to look at whether hearing aids could reduce the chances of developing dementia. The study looked at over 3,000 people from two groups: health community volunteers and older adults from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, a longstanding study of cardiovascular health. Participants randomly received either treatment from an audiologist and hearing aids, or counseling in chronic disease prevention. The two groups were followed for three years.
Interestingly, in the total group, hearing aids did not appear to reduce cognitive decline, but, when researchers just looked at the older group at higher risk, they found a significant reduction (48%) in cognitive decline.
What Does This Mean For You?
If you aren’t sure how your hearing is, have it checked. Doctors recommend using a hearing aid even with mild hearing loss as a simple, risk-free way to preserve cognition as much as possible.
Don’t have access or can’t afford an audiologist or ear,nose and throat doctor? Lower cost, over-the-counter hearing aids are now available without a prescription giving everyone the opportunity to have one.
Confused about choosing? Here’s a New York Times article on the top rated over-the-counter hearing aids.
The study also showed the importance of maintaining physical health to prevent cognitive decline, so don’t forget about visiting your primary care provider, getting regular physical activity, eating right and getting enough sleep.
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