Are Hearing Loss & Dementia Connected?

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In a recent study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging, researchers found that seniors who had significant hearing loss were 24 times more likely to develop dementia. Although scientists are not certain why the connection exists, the strain hearing loss puts on the brain when trying to decode speech in a conversation and the isolation that so many people with hearing loss experience seem to be key factors. Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia? Click here for information about specialty in-home dementia care in Denton and Collin Counties.

In the study, 2000 participants with an average age of 77 were studied over time for memory loss, confusion or dementia. After six years of study, participants who previously suffered from hearing loss that interfered with their conversational abilities also experienced cognitive decline or other forms of dementia. According to Frank Lin, M.D., an otologist at John Hopkins Research Center, the study may provide new evidence on the importance of caring for hearing as a part of good brain health.

As home care agency in Texas, we believe knowledge is power! Even though there is no concrete evidence for why hearing loss and dementia are connected, it is one more reason for seniors and older adults to do everything they can to protect their ears. Hearing impairment should no longer be simply regarded as a natural part of aging. So how can you start protecting your hearing? Follow simple guidelines such as:

  • Avoid listening to high volume music
  • Use earplugs or protective gear when around loud noises
  • Turn down the volume on your TV or radio
  • Avoid the sound of traffic by closing your car windows
  • Discuss concerns about medications with your doctor

Did you know there are other benefits to protecting your hearing? People who suffer from hearing loss are more vulnerable to depression, frustration and social isolation. And with more evidence linking hearing loss with dementia, by protecting your hearing, you could also be protecting your brain health and cognitive function!

Have other questions about dementia? Contact Home Care Assistance today at 972-468-6010. We offer flexible hourly and 24 hour care in Denton County and Collin County, ideal for seniors who may be struggling with a memory related illness. Our phone lines are always open so please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our devoted Care Managers.

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