At the University of Melbourne in Australia, researchers tested the use of hearing aids in nearly 100 adults aged 62-82 years with hearing loss.
The participants’ hearing, cognitive function, speech perception, quality of life, physical activity, loneliness, mood and medical health were assessed before and 18 months after having their hearing aids fitted.
Findings in the study
After 18 months of hearing aid use, researchers found speech perception, self-reported listening disability and quality of life had significantly improved for participants.
Almost all showed either clinically significant improvement or stability in executive function - their mental ability to plan, organise information and initiate tasks.
Especially improvements among women
In the study, women especially showed significant improvements in working memory - used for reasoning and decision-making - as well as most other cognitive functions assessed.
The study also found more frequent use of hearing aids was associated with greater improvements in cognitive function and women were much more diligent at wearing the devices than men.
The study, “The Effect of Hearing Aid Use on Cognition in Older Adults: Can We Delay Decline or Even Improve Cognitive Function?”, was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
Sources: www.eurakalert.org and the Journal of Clinical Medicine