Vol. 3 No. 7 (2023)
Horizon Scans

Hearing Restorative Devices and Dementia

Published July 4, 2023

Key Messages

  • This Horizon Scan summarizes the available information regarding hearing restorative devices for improving cognition or delaying disease progression for people living with dementia.
  • Hearing loss is 1 of the largest modifiable risk factors for dementia.
  • Evidence regarding the effectiveness of hearing devices to improve cognition in people living with dementia is still evolving. However, in individuals without dementia, managing hearing loss may prevent cognitive decline in the long term.
  • Early evidence suggests that hearing aids may be a cost-effective intervention for preventing dementia in the long term.
  • Barriers to access such as high out-of-pocket costs, equitable access to health care, and low utilization even in the general population are issues to consider. If managing hearing loss with hearing restorative devices indeed prevents cognitive decline, if they are accessible only to those with the financial means to pay high out-of-pocket costs, this could exacerbate systemic health inequities.