Researchers have previously shown a link between hearing loss and comorbid conditions such as diabetes, dementia, and cardiovascular disease, among others.

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Now, a French study published in Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences has shown that those with an untreated hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia and disability. A summary of the study’s results, published on the Hear-it AISBL—a nonprofit organization that provides information on hearing loss—website, show that hearing aids can help eliminate this risk factor. In this article, we’ll share the highlights, edited and adapted from the Hear-it website.

Risks

The study—which followed 3,800 people over a 25-year period—showed a 21% increase in the risk of developing dementia for those who did not use hearing aids. There was no higher risk for those that did use hearing aids. In terms of disability, there was a 28% risk increase in activities related to daily living such as bathing and dressing. There was also a 13% risk increase in activities such as managing medications, money, and shopping, according to the article. Again, there was no higher risk for those people who wore hearing aids.

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Men had a 43% increased risk of developing depression as compared to those who wore hearing aids or those without hearing loss. There was no increased risk of depression for women included in the study.

Treatment

For those considering hearing aids to treat their hearing loss, it’s best to visit a trusted hearing care practitioner to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Worried about affording the cost of treatment? By signing up for CareCredit, you’ll be able to finance your payments out over months, giving you more flexibility!

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This content is provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by CareCredit and also adapted from Hear-it.org.