The British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) recently interviewed Thomas Behrans, Chief Audiologist and Director for the Centre for Applied Research at Oticon. Here’s what he had to say when asked about hearing loss being linked with dementia:
“There has been a lot of research being published recently linking hearing loss to dementia – we don’t yet know enough to say that hearing loss directly causes other conditions such as dementia and depression. The difficulty is that dementia studies that will tell us more take at least ten years to gain sufficient data. We prefer to talk about hearing loss causing behaviour change which is a contributing factor.
But yes we certainly need to understand hearing as a cognitive health issue. We are helping to establish centres at universities focusing on cognitive hearing science. Because we know that hearing keeps your brain fit – it is exercise for the brain that we need to keep doing. Did you know that half an hour of active conversation a day is better for your brain than playing Sudoku? I mean conversation where we are really listening, being responsive, reflecting and asking questions – this is what the brain needs. Our best new hearing technology can free up cognitive resources to allow people to better engage in social decoding.
All credit for this interview goes to Jemima Thackray, BIHIMA and was extracted from her full interview found in Audiology Worldnews magazine January 2019, issue 124. Photo credit goes to the Audiology Worldnews website.