Does cognitive function in older adults with hearing impairment improve by hearing aid use?

S. A. H. van Hooren, L. J. C. Anteunis, S. A. M. Valentijn, H. Bosma, R. W. H. M. Ponds, J. Jolles, M. P. J. van Boxtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, the effects of hearing aid use by hearing-impaired older individuals on different aspects of cognitive function, such as memory, attention, executive functioning, and processing speed, were investigated. Fifty-six participants (mean age = 72.5) who were fitted with hearing aids were compared with 46 control participants (mean age = 74.5) with an equivalent hearing impairment, but who were not fitted with a hearing aid. After a dual baseline measurement and fitting of the hearing aids, all participants were assessed again with neurocognitive tests after 12 months. While the participants with hearing aids had improved aided hearing thresholds, they did not demonstrate an improved performance on the cognitive tests compared to the controls. Thus improved hearing did not improve cognitive functioning. These findings may suggest that hearing aid use only restores impairments at the level of the sensory organ, but does not affect the central nervous system and, as a consequence, cognitive functioning. © 2005 British Society of Audiology, International Society of Audiology, and Nordic Audiological Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

Cite this