A new study indicates that hearing aids may help delay or reduce dementia and cognitive decline.
The findings were published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Neurology.
Research has shown that hearing loss is an important risk factor for dementia.
What hasn't been clear is whether treating hearing loss would help prevent the progression of cognitive decline.
The new study suggests that may be the case.
The researchers analyzed more than 3,000 studies to reach their conclusion.
The review found that people who wore devices to help with hearing loss performed 3% better on cognitive scores in the short term.
The use of hearing aids was also associated with a 19% reduction in long-term cognitive decline.
Researchers recommend that clinicians, who are treating patients with hearing, persuade them to use hearing aids. They believe it will mitigate the risk of cognitive decline such as dementia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 26.8% of those aged 65 and over have some difficulty hearing. More than 4% have a lot of difficulties or cannot hear at all, the CDC states.