I brought this up in a previous post, but I’ll start fresh. It seems widely accepted that word recognition scores decrease with uncorrected hearing loss over time, regardless if adequate amplification is then used to make the words recognizable. Are there any studies that suggest that wearing hearing aids could slow or prevent this loss in word recognition scores?
I did some research and found a couple of studies. They’re done in kind of a weird way in my mind as they’re done with only one hearing aid and compare word recognition scores between ears. The first, which seems to be a classic is this one from 1993: Apparent auditory deprivation in children: implications of monaural versus binaural amplification. - PubMed - NCBI
It definitely suggests that a hearing aid can prevent decline in word recognition scores.
But then there’s this one from 2011: Long-term effects of hearing aids on word recognition scores. - PubMed - NCBI
which does not support that claim.
Anybody aware of any other studies? I’m sure to some this would seem similar to testing to see if parachutes save lives.
To me it’s an important question to answer. Perhaps word recognition scores just decrease with age and hearing aids don’t really help slow the decline. (That’s not what I believe, but my believing it does not make it so) If so, wearing hearing aids to preserve word recognition ability would be a fool’s errand. It wouldn’t mean wearing hearing aids was worthless as they obviously have benefits for improving communication in the here and now.