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According to a recent clinical trial, hearing aid use may slow down memory loss by 48% for some individuals.

Study Details
The Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders (ACHIEVE) study followed adults aged 70–84 with untreated mild to moderate hearing loss who had no substantial cognitive issues.

Study participants came from two sources—1) those enrolled in a long-standing observational study of heart health and 2) new healthy community volunteers.

For three years, participants received either a hearing intervention or a control intervention. The hearing intervention included hearing aids, a hearing self-management toolkit, and counseling from an audiologist. The control intervention consisted of individual health education sessions. Everyone was then followed for three years with tests of thinking and memory.

While the hearing intervention did not significantly reduce cognitive decline in the healthy community group, the hearing intervention did have a significant impact on those who were also enrolled in the heart health study. Those participants were older and had more risk factors for cognitive issues and the hearing intervention slowed their cognitive decline by 48%.

Researchers noted that the hearing intervention likely would have also had an impact on the cognitive health of the healthy community group if the study had gone on for longer than three years.

“The hearing intervention had a significant effect on reducing cognitive change within three years in the population of older adults in the study who are at increased risk for cognitive decline,” said Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., and co-principal investigator of the ACHIEVE study.1

“Hearing loss is very treatable in later life, which makes it an important public health target to reduce risk of cognitive decline and dementia, along with other dementia risk factors such as less education in early life, high blood pressure, social isolation and physical inactivity,” he added.

It was also noted that the hearing intervention positively affected other aspects of the lives of people in both study groups.

“In both the heart health group and the new group of community volunteers, we also found that the hearing intervention improved communication abilities, social functioning and loneliness,” Lin said. “Until we know more, we recommend for general health and well-being that older adults have their hearing checked regularly and any hearing issues properly addressed.”2

Need a hearing checkup? Call Precision Hearing at 352-765-8008 to schedule an appointment for a complimentary hearing evaluation.


1 USF Health. (2023). Hearing aids slow cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss and at risk for cognitive decline.

2 Alzheimer’s Association. (2023). Hearing aids slow cognitive decline in older adults with hearing loss and at risk for cognitive decline.

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