Wearing hearing aid may help protect brain in later life - Alzheimer's Society comments

A new study has concluded that people who wear a hearing aid for age-related hearing problems maintain better brain function over time than those who do not.

The research was conducted by the University of Exeter and King's College London and is presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Los Angeles, in the PROTECT online study of 25,000 people aged 50 or over.

The findings provide early evidence that encouraging people to wear an effective hearing aid may help to protect their brains and reduce their risk of dementia.

Aoife Kiely, Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

The link between hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia has been an area of interest over recent years, and this research is further evidence that using a hearing aid for hearing difficulties in mid-life could help a person maintain their brain function as they get older and might also reduce their risk of dementia.

In this study, people using hearing aids had faster reaction times than those who didn’t, which might indicate better concentration. Being able to stay tuned into conversations and day-to-day life is key in reducing the feelings of isolation that we know many people with dementia experience, which is why we’re currently funding a project to improve hearing problems in care homes to help make sure anyone with a hearing problem can receive the support they need."