Hearing Loss and Cognition: The Role of Hearing Aids, Social Isolation and Depression

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Cognitive impairment includes problems with memory, having trouble with learning new tasks, concentrating or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Dementia is a form of cognitive impairment, in the sense of, loss of memory, language and problem solving. Both conditions can limit an individual’s function and interfere with their daily lifestyle. Poor cognitive performance and dementia have a significant impact and financial burden on the individual, the individual’s caregivers, and society.

However, in a  study done by researchers at various institutions in the UK and the US, it was found that preventive measures of hearing loss may prevent poor cognitive performance and dementia.

Hearing aids may help prevent/reduce this decline in cognitive impairment but this is not because having a hearing aid reduces social isolation and depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive performance of individuals who use hearing aids and determine whether  there is a correlation between social isolation and/or depression. The researchers hypothesized that cognitive performance improves with hearing aids but does not reflect positive results related to social isolation and depression.

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