How do hearing and sight influence cognitive decline?

Previous research has suggested that hearing loss and abnormalities in the eye are tied to memory loss and a higher Alzheimer’s risk. New evidence now indicates that addressing hearing and sight problems can slow down cognitive decline | via Medical News Today

Two recent research papers — each based on studies conducted by the same scientists from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom — look at the evidence indicating that treating hearing loss and eyesight problems can slow down the development of cognitive decline.

One of the papers, published in the journal PLOS One, shows that people who have had surgery for cataract have a slower cognitive decline rate. The other paper, which is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, has reported similar findings about people who wear hearing aids.

In both of these studies, the researchers assessed the rate of cognitive decline by evaluating the participants’ episodic memory using word recall tests. The scientists then compared the rates of cognitive function impairment before and after the participants started wearing hearing aids or underwent cataract surgery.

In the study investigating corrective cataract surgery, there was a 50 percent slower rate of cognitive decline in those who received the intervention, than those who had not undergone surgery.

The study that focused on the link between hearing aids and cognitive decline rates found similar results. In this instance, the scientists found, the rate of cognitive decline was 75 percent slower following this intervention.

“These studies,” says Dr. Piers Dawes, involved in both studies, “underline just how important it is to overcome the barriers which deny people from accessing hearing and visual aids.”

Full article at Medical News Today

Links to research:

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