As new research continues to illuminate the relationship between hearing loss and dementia, we’ve invested in a new tool designed to screen for the early signs of cognitive decline. Cognivue is a sensitive, easy to use diagnostic tool designed to provide patients with cognition information they can bring to their healthcare provider.

What’s the Link Between Dementia and Hearing Loss?

Dementia is an incurable and progressive mental illness that results in significant and permanent cognitive decline. Because there is no outright cure for this type of cognitive illness, one of the primary avenues of research associated with dementia is the identification or risk factors. Once dementia risk factors have been positively described, practitioners can make recommendations designed to limit those risks.

A recent study published in the Lancet–a well respected and peer reviewed medical journal–gathers strong evidence that hearing loss is a major dementia risk factor. Indeed, according to the article, titled “Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care: 2020 Report,” hearing loss is the single most preventable dementia risk.

As a result, hearing and cognitive tests are often the first line of defense against dementia. That can be particularly important for several reasons:

  • Hearing loss can be a particularly slow moving condition. The mental and cognitive strain caused by the slow decline in hearing ability can have significant impacts on the brain. Functions that may be impacted include memory, speech, and language skills.
  • As the Lancet report confirmed, hearing loss is one of the most potent modifiable risk factors associated with dementia and cognitive decline. Individuals are not able to alter their genetic risk factors, for example. But they can change their behavior when it comes to protecting their hearing, which can have a net positive impact on their chances of delaying or preventing the development of dementia.
  • Therapies and interventions related to treating hearing loss, such as hearing protection and hearing aids, have been shown to have a net positive impact on the risks associated with developing dementia. Some studies have even shown that those who regularly wear their hearing aids can successfully slow the rate of cognitive decline.

Why Would You Want to be Tested By Cognivue?

Cognivue is a quick test lasting roughly five minutes or so, that screens:

  • Memory performance
  • Executive function
  • Reaction time
  • Processing speed

The Cognivue screening process will also test for a variety of other cognitive benchmarks, collecting data in order to provide you with a picture of your cognitive health. Cognivue is not designed to be the final word on your dementia risk; instead, the screening tool works as a kind of early warning system, bringing possible red flags to your attention as early as possible.

Man wondering what kind if he should get Cognivue testing

Cognitive Tests Screen for Early Warning Signs of Dementia

The Cognivue diagnostic will provide you with a cognitive health result that is independent of your hearing score. Health professionals can use both your hearing results and your Cognivue results to paint a more accurate picture of your current cognitive health. Based on your scores, Cognivue will provide you with advice concerning lifestyle changes that aim to improve your overall cognition. The screening will also provide you with a report and data set that you can bring to your healthcare provider in order to better discuss next steps for managing your cognitive risks. 

In this way, Cognivue provides hearing specialists with a screening tool that can help them accurately measure cognition and, in some cases, detect early signs of dementia. Because of the link between dementia and hearing loss, the people that hearing specialists see are likely to be disproportionately predisposed to dementia risk, making Cognivue an essential step in a hearing checkup.