There’s nothing more important than your precious memories with loved ones, like picnicking at Forest Park. But the development of dementia can put memory and other cognitive tasks at risk.
Research shows that people who have hearing loss and don’t seek treatment are at an elevated risk of developing dementia. Fortunately, hearing aids can help.
The Link Between Hearing Loss & Dementia: What the Studies Show
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have uncovered a strong link between untreated hearing loss and dementia.
During a joint study with the National Institute on Aging from 2011, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that seniors with hearing loss are much more likely to develop dementia compared to those without.
To uncover this, the researchers examined data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging and tracked information from 639 people whose hearing and cognition were tested between 1990 and 1994. They then retested each participants’ hearing every one to two years until 2008.
- Those with mild hearing loss were twice as likely to develop dementia.
- Those with moderate hearing loss were three times as likely.
- Those with severe hearing loss were five times as likely.
During another study, published in 2013, Johns Hopkins researchers uncovered the rate at which cognitive decline develops in those who have untreated hearing loss.
For this study, approximately 2,000 volunteers ages 75 to 84 had their hearing tested over six years. The researchers found that those with hearing loss experienced a decline in cognitive abilities 30-40% faster than those with normal hearing, resulting in significant impairment 3.2 years sooner.
Research Shows Hearing Aids Can Help
A study by the University of Michigan uncovered that older adults who wear hearing aids right away after being diagnosed with hearing loss have a lower risk of later being diagnosed with dementia, depression and anxiety. They also have a lower risk of fall-related injury than those who delay treatment.
For more information about the benefits of hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call the Center for Hearing & Speech today.