Scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health have discovered that hearing aids reduce the risk of dementia when used for a long time.
The Lancet indicates that about 1,000 people who participated in this study, aged 70-84 years, had untreated hearing loss and had no impairment in cognitive functions at the time of the start of the study. The researchers randomly assigned the participants into two groups: audiological counseling and hearing aids, or general counseling about healthy aging. All participants were screened twice a year for three years.
The preliminary analysis showed that the use of hearing aids had no significant effect on cognitive decline compared to the control group. But follow-up test results on the dementia-prone group revealed that the mental changes were 48 percent lower in the hearing aid group.
A study of a sample of healthy volunteers, whose cognitive deterioration factors were lower and slower, showed that no cognitive changes occurred over a period of three years, significantly different from those that occurred in the group of users of hearing aids and the control group. No significant side effects were reported in any of the groups.
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