A hot topic in the field of audiology at the moment is the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Several researchers, most notably Dr. Frank Lin at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, have been investigating how untreated hearing loss can potentially contribute to overall cognitive decline for many years. Now, Dr. Lin has been exploring how treating hearing loss can reduce the risk of cognitive decline later in life.
In his latest study, Dr. Lin found that older populations who are more at risk for other health issues were almost three times more likely to experience cognitive decline with untreated hearing loss than their counterparts with hearing aids. He concluded that getting hearing aids sooner rather than later can potentially slow the rate of cognitive decline by up to 48%. He goes on to mention that this finding may be multi-factorial, so additional research in the area needs to be conducted before we fully understand this relationship. Regardless, Dr. Lin believes that hearing health should be prioritized by aging individuals, healthcare providers, and even government institutions.
See a more detailed synopsis of his newest study here: https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/18/health/dementia-hearing-loss-study-wellness/index.html.