Researchers have conducted the first-ever study to investigate the link between hearing aids and the progression to dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities.
A person with MCI is not classified as suffering from dementia - a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning - but some MCI sufferers will go on to develop the condition.
The researchers analysed data involving 2,114 hearing-impaired patients over the age of 50 from the National Alzheimer's Co-ordinating Centre, and they found that 33 per cent of patients who wore a hearing aid had not developed dementia five years after they were diagnosed with MCI, as opposed to only 19 per cent for non-users of hearing aids.
This means that 81 per cent of individuals who didn't wear hearing devices were found to have dementia after five years.
Story and video by Cover Media