Does hearing loss cause brain function decline?
Hearing loss can have a number of social and health impacts including reduced quality of life and well-being.
According to a study by Assistant Professor Lin at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, older adults with hearing loss are also more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than older adults with normal hearing.
Using repeated cognition tests over six years, researchers at John Hopkins School of Medicine found that cognitive abilities of subjects with hearing loss declined 30 percent to 40 percent faster than subjects with normal hearing. The levels of this cognitive decline were correlated to the degree of hearing loss.
“Our results show that hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of aging, because it may come with some serious long-term consequences to healthy brain functioning,” says Assistant Professor Lin.
In another study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the impact of using hearing aids on cognitive decline was investigated. The study showed that adults with hearing loss who wore hearing aids experienced less cognitive decline than those who did not wear hearing aids. If fact the hearing aid wearers performed as well as adults with normal hearing.
Although more research is needed to determine the degree in which hearing loss impacts cognitive decline, these studies highlight another potential impact of untreated hearing loss.
If you feel hearing loss is impacting your life contact Sounds of Life. For the month of March, Sounds of Life is offering FREE hearing screenings for adults over the age of 50 years.
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