A study done by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging shows that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. The researchers say that these findings could lead to new ways to combat dementia, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and carries heavy societal burdens.
Hearing loss effects communication in such a gradual, and yet such a cumbersome manner. Asking others to repeat themselves on a regular basis will quickly stress out the healthiest of relationships. Staying mentally active requires social interaction...can anyone hear me? Of course hearing aids do not provide all the answers, but they are a relatively quick solution. And despite the stigma, they absolutely help people with hearing loss get back into the conversation.
Although the reason for the link between dementia and hearing loss is unknown, the investigators suggest that a common pathology may underlie both or that the strain of decoding sounds over the years may overwhelm the brains of people with hearing loss, leaving them more vulnerable to dementia. They also speculate that hearing loss could lead to dementia by making individuals more socially isolated, a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders.
Article submitted by:
Robin Fiscus, AuD, Wwner & Doctor of Audiology
2635 Wheaton Way, Bremerton