Cognition, hearing loss and how Livio AI hearing aids can help!

Research surrounding the correlation between hearing loss and cognition is immense and still growing.

For instance:

  • We know that adults with hearing loss have shown greater declines in cognitive function than their peers with normal hearing.
  • Another study points out that older adults with hearing loss are two to five times more at risk of developing dementia than their normal hearing counter-parts.
  • In this same study, it was found that with every 10 dB measured increase in hearing loss, there was a 20% increased risk of developing dementia.
  • Public health testing suggests that hearing loss may be a risk factor for cognitive decline.

The reasons why this correlation exists are still tbd, but science offers several valid theories:

  • Long term auditory deprivation may prevent the brain from receiving neural input. This is the use-it-or-lose-it theory and suggests that it is important to stimulate your brain with auditory input.
  • Individuals with hearing loss may reduce their participation in group activities and withdraw from social interactions. There is a connection between social isolation and depression and cognitive decline. The idea surrounding this theory is that individuals with hearing loss are less likely to participate in social events, which in turn may lead to isolation or depression, which in turn may lead to cognitive decline.
  • Trying to listen and understand speech may be using multiple cognitive resources such as working memory. Since the brain’s focus is listening, many of these cognitive resources can’t be used elsewhere.

Hearing aids can be helpful in preventing each of these from occurring.

  • They can help to stimulate the brain and deliver the auditory pathway information.
  • They can encourage individuals to participate in social activities, reducing their risk of depression and social isolation.
  • They can help reduce the cognitive effort an individual may need to use to listen.

Lastly, a study completed in 2015 found that elderly adults who wore hearing aids had similar rates of cognitive decline as their normal hearing peers. This suggests that simply wearing hearing aids can allow individuals with hearing loss to slow down the progression of cognitive decline.

How Starkey Livio AI hearing aids can help you!

From the research outlined above, you can see how important it is to use your hearing aids for your cognitive health. Using sensors and artificial intelligence, Starkey Livio AI hearing aids will give you feedback on your cognitive health and measure a Brain Score for you daily. The score is broken down into three categories. The categories and goals are listed and described below with an explanation of why daily feedback is important for your cognitive health:

 

Brain Score measurement

What it measures

Why it’s important

Use Time

The amount of time the hearing aids are worn.


A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2015) found that wearing hearing aids reduces the risk of cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.

Engagement


How much time is spent in environments where the user engages in conversation with others or streams audio, like phone calls.


It was found that most people who currently wear hearing aids say it positively affects their ability to participate in group activities (Better Hearing Institute, n.d.).

Active Listening


The variety of environments and situations experienced throughout the day.


The greater the variety of environments encountered, the more enriched the brain will be by the stimulation from these environments.

 

The combination of these goals leads to a maximum Brain Score of 100. The Thrive Hearing app maintains a Brain Score history to show progress over time. The Brain Score is a valuable tool to help you track and measure your cognitive health.

Take a proactive approach to your future mental health

With Livio AI hearing aids, you now have a way to both treat your hearing loss and take proactive steps to minimize your risks of hearing-loss related cognitive decline and dementia. To try them for yourself, call 1-888-908-1845 or click here and we can help you schedule a consultation and demonstration with a hearing professional near you.

 

Join our community of Starkey Blog subscribers

Want a week's worth of Starkey blogs delivered to your inbox? Sign up here.

By Amanda Szarythe, Au.D.

Archive