Effects of hearing aid on improving cognition and depressive symptoms in elderly

K. J. Arun Kumar, M. Vidyalakshmi


Background: The prevalence of dementia among people aged over 60 years is between 5–7%, with the numbers of those affected globally predicted to double every 20 years between 2010 and 2050. While cognitive impairment and dementia have a negative impact on the individual, caregivers and society, the financial burden of cognitive decline and dementia are also a major source of concern. However, there is some cause for optimism in the form of potentially modifiable risk factors which can prevent or delay dementia. In this study we investigate the effect of hearing aid on improving cognition and depressive symptoms in elderly individuals with hearing impairment.

Methods: Patients with hearing impairment were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria and prescribed with similar type of hearing aid. MMSE and GDS scores were obtained before fitting hearing aid and 3 months after fitting hearing aid.

Results: A total number of 66 patients, 40 males (61%) and 26 females (39%) were included in the study. Before using hearing aids, the mean MMSE score was 18.98±5.37 (range 10–26), and it increased to 21.08±4.77 (range 12–27) after 3 months of hearing aid use (p<0.005). The GDS analysis revealed a mean score of 6.85±2.81 (range 3–11) before using hearing aid and it decreased to 5.44±1.82 (range 3–8 after using the hearing aid (p<0.005).

Conclusions: Treating hearing loss with hearing aid may reduce burden associated with cognitive decline and depression.



Cognitive decline, Dementia, Depression, Hearing aid

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