Will Hearing Aids Help?
Are You A Gambler?
Are you willing to gamble with your mental, emotional, or social health? Actually, hearing loss turns all of us into gamblers.
If you decide to get treated, you are gambling real money for the possibility of better hearing and a more active life. If you decide against treatment for your hear loss you can only win what you didn’t spend, but those winnings will only make sense if you don’t suffer the terrible consequences of untreated hearing loss; social isolation, thinking and memory problems, and depression.
Mounting evidence has established a strong link between untreated hearing loss and diminished cognitive function, including dementia. Studies also link untreated hearing loss to other medical and emotional problems, including depression.
The Good News
Studies show a strong link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. But is there any indication that hearing aids can help?
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by researchers at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux France, followed 3,670 adults, age 65 and older over a 25-year period.
The research, headed by Prof. Hélène Amieva, indicates that “Use of hearing aids attenuates cognitive decline in elderly people with hearing loss.” The study found that people treated with hearing aids showed the same rate of cognitive decline as a control group with normal hearing, rather than the accelerated form of decline experienced by the group that wasn’t treated with hearing aids. That is a profound result…place your bets!
Two Informative Videos
The Bottom Line
We are Doctors of Audiology and we pledge our considerable knowledge and training to help you live and age well. There can be serious consequences for neglecting hearing loss, including thinking and memory problems, depression, and dementia. The gap between living well and needlessly accepting potentially extreme consequences is our driving motivation, so we will work hard to convey these ideas while presenting options for your benefit.
So…Should you invest in hearing aids when diagnosed with a hearing loss?
Investment decisions can be complex and personal, and we certainly respect that. From a purely evidenciary point of view, however, there’s no contest:
- Properly fitted hearing aids with technology features appropriately selected to meet your hearing loss prescription and lifestyle preferences will improve the quality of your life …especially when combined with an effective rehabilitation program, as needed.
- The cost of neglecting hearing loss is disproportionately large when you consider the medical and emotional consequences of not acting.
- Weighing the potentially life-changing consequences of unattended hearing loss against the prospect of living and aging well, it would be unwise to neglect hearing loss! The decision, of course, is yours…but so are the consequences.
- T.L. | Bend, OR