Hearing aid, eye surgery help ward off dementia
DEMENTIA could be prevented by simply wearing a hearing aid or having surgery to improve eyesight, two major studies have suggested.
A study of more than 5000 respondents found cataract surgery halved the rate of cognitive decline, while research involving 2040 participants found that wearing a hearing aid had an even bigger effect, reducing the decline in memory and thinking skills by more than 75 per cent.
Dr Asri Maharani, co-author of the studies by Manchester University, said age was one of the most important factors implicated in cognitive decline.
“We find that hearing and vision interventions may slow it down and perhaps prevent some cases of dementia, which is exciting, though we can’t say yet that this is a causal relationship,” she said.
Co-author Dr Piers Dawes said, “It’s not really certain why hearing and visual problems have an impact on cognitive decline, but I’d guess that isolation, stigma and the resultant lack of physical activity that are linked to hearing and vision problems might have something to do with it.
“These studies underline just how important it is to overcome the barriers that deny people from accessing hearing and visual aids.”