A news item in The Hearing Review caught our attention this week: A recent study at the University of Texas has found that hearing aids improve brain function in people with hearing loss.
We’ve long known that untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation and diminished quality of life, but Jamie Desjardins, who has conducted this new study, goes further in explaining why this happens.
“If you have some hearing impairment and you’re not using hearing aids, maybe you can figure out what the person has said, but that comes at a cost,” Ms Desjardins said. “You may actually be using the majority of your cognitive resources – your brain power – in order to figure out that message.” In other words the untreated hearing loss interferes with your cognitive abilities because so much mental effort is diverted towards understanding speech.
Significant improvement after wearing hearing aids
The study by the University of Texas looked at groups of individuals in their 50s and 60s with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss who had previously never used hearing aids. After two weeks of hearing aid use, there was an increase in percent scores for recalling words and selective attention tests, plus the processing speed at which participants selected the correct response was faster. By the end of the study, participants had exhibited significant improvement in their cognitive function.
Ms DesJardins went on to paint a scenario of someone who has hearing loss and is still of working age, but they’re not wearing their hearing aids. They are spending so much of their brain power just focusing on listening they may not be able to perform their job as well. Or if they can, they’re exhausted because they are working so much harder and are more tired at the end of the day.
Ongoing care and expertise of audiologist ensures best outcome for hearing impaired
We see many clients who have resisted going to have their hearing checked because they don’t want to admit they have a problem. Or, they’ve received a hearing aid from another source but have not been given the aftercare support to help ensure their hearing aid is performing well for them. Here at Help in Hearing, we focus a little more on the expertise and experience of the audiologist and it is a combination of the commitment and professional relationship with the client that makes the hearing aids achieve the best outcome for the hearing impaired. We spend a great deal of time making sure we propose the right type of hearing aid for your specific type of hearing loss and we offer ongoing care throughout the lifespan of the devices, so the success rate is much higher, meaning you can get on with your job, your family life and your social life without having to spend so much effort on trying to hear what people are saying.
Read the full article about the University of Texas study.