Emma attended the NZ Audiological Society Conference in beautiful Queenstown last week. There was plenty of new research presented, and chances to share ideas with fellow audiologists.
Dr Frank Lin presented one of the pressing topics, the relationship between hearing loss and dementia. The evidence that having hearing loss increases the risk of dementia is overwhelming. But we all want to know if treating the hearing loss (for most people this means wearing hearing instruments) helps.
Dr Lin reports that, at this stage:
“the question of whether treating hearing loss could delay cognitive decline or dementia remains unknown”.
This is because there has never been research that has been carried out in a randomized and controlled way so that the effects of treating hearing loss can be explored in terms of whether this reduces the risk of cognitive decline. But studies of this nature are underway!