New research provides evidence of cognitive benefit from hearing aids

GN News

Mar 10, 2020

You may have read in such places such as The New York Times that hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, but did you know that wearing hearing aids may actually reverse cognitive decline?

In a study supported by the Hearing Industry Research Consortium (IRC), of which GN is a founding member and sponsor, Professors Dr. Hanna Glick and Dr. Anu Sharma of the University of Colorado looked at how the using hearing aids can affect how the brain functions.

Their paper Cortical Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Function in Early-Stage, Mild-Moderate Hearing Loss: Evidence of Neurocognitive Benefit from Hearing Aid Use has just been published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal, and can be read online at Research Gate.

What it’s about, in layman’s terms

We know that age-related hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline as well as structural and functional brain changes. This occurs because the brain of a person with hearing loss has to put in extra effort to compensate for the signals (sounds) it is missing. Dr. Glick and Dr. Sharma’s research sought to better understand if clinical treatment with hearing aids can modify some of these changes.

You will have to read the full paper to get all the details, but spoiler alert: be prepared for some strong evidence of both the cognitive and physiological benefits of wearing hearing aids.

GN supports research that benefits whole industry

The study was funded by the Hearing IRC, which is a consortium of hearing aid manufacturers who pool a fund to sponsor hearing related research projects each year. These projects provide valuable knowledge about hearing loss and support the case for the health benefits of hearing aids.