Potential Brain-Changing Benefits Of Hearing Aids

(Micromedia File Photo)

A fairly recent report published in Frontiers in Neuroscience (Feb. 2020) adds to a growing body of research connecting the use of hearing technology to benefits that go beyond the ability to hear. It further bolsters the importance of early hearing loss treatment for overall patient health.

  Studies have long linked hearing loss and other conditions such as cognitive decline in older adults, with data showing evidence of…

  • Accelerated brain shrinkage
  • Five-fold risk of dementia
  • Earlier onset of decline

  A University of Maryland study published in 2018 found that hearing aids not only improve auditory ability in seniors but also may restore cognitive and neural function.  In the present study, researchers sought to better understand the source of neurocognitive deficits in presbycusis and the potential modifying effects of hearing technology. Twenty-eight adults with untreated mild to moderate hearing loss were fit with hearing aids and monitored for six months. The results from the experiment group after wearing hearing aids for six months confirmed gains in speech perception and cognitive performance. The outcomes of this study provide evidence that clinical intervention with well-fit digital hearing aids may promote more typical cortical organization and functioning and provide cognitive benefit.

  Dr. Izzy has been providing hearing care services for over 30 years and has offices in Toms River, Manahawkin, and Whiting. He can be reached at 732-818-3610 or ikirsh@gardenstatehearing.com.

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Dr. Kirsh has over 25 years of hearing care experience. Dr. Kirsh received a B.A. in Biopsychology from the University of Maryland, a Master’s of Education (Audiology) from the University of Virginia and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with area of specialization in Audiology from the Union Institute (The Graduate School). Dr. Kirsh completed a fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, has multiple publications, and has received numerous continuing education awards from both ASHA and AAA. Dr. Kirsh is currently a Founder and Director for Audigy Group and has previously served on the Sonus Network advisory board. Dr. Kirsh’s wife, Shira Kirsh, is a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice at Alliance Speech & Hearing Center (Howell, N.J., 732-942-7220)-an affiliate of GSHBC. Dr. Kirsh has two beautiful children, Melanie and Joseph.