Memory Loss and Hearing Aids
The 2019 Audiology Conference in Brisbane focused on the cognition and hearing. There were many important messages and new ideas which can be applied to clinical practice. One such message according to the recent World Health Organisation Expert Panel Report 2019 is that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of hearing aids to reduce the risk of cognitive decline/dementia. Therefore, you should be cautious if you are asked to purchase hearing aids to treat dementia.
There is currently no cure and no effective medication for treating memory loss or dementia, however there are ways to delay the onset of symptoms. The more you strengthen the “6 pillars” in your daily life, the longer your brain will stay active and healthy.
The 6 Pillars are –
1: Regular exercise, 2: Social engagement, 3: Healthy diet, 4: Mental stimulation, 5: Quality sleep and 6: Stress management.
As an audiologist, I understand that significant hearing loss can limit a person’s social engagement leading to frustration and isolation.
Wearing hearing aids doesn’t necessarily guarantee to slow down one’s cognitive decline. But improving your hearing allows you to engage in a more active lifestyle, exposing you to health mental stimulation which in turn, protects your memory function.