A variety of studies in recent years have shown a promising connection between hearing loss and dementia. Not surprisingly, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has revealed results that are consistent with previous findings.
Hearing Loss and Dementia Study Results
The most recent Johns Hopkins study included a national sample of 2,413 people, approximately 50 percent of whom were over age 80. Unlike other studies that only included individuals who could reach a clinic, data for this study was collected from in-home interviews and testing. The data gathered, then, includes a more diverse population than previous studies which only included in-clinic figures.
The results of the Johns Hopkins study may come as a surprise to some, but not so much for hearing health professionals and others who have long seen a connection between hearing loss and dementia. According to Johns Hopkins researchers, the “prevalence of dementia among the participants with moderate/severe hearing loss was 61 percent higher than prevalence among participants who had normal hearing.”
But the findings don’t stop there. Of the 853 study participants who had moderate to severe hearing loss, there was a 32 percent lower prevalence of dementia amongst those who wore hearing aids.
As with other studies conducted in the past, the Johns Hopkins researchers are quick to point out that there IS a clear connection between hearing loss and dementia risk. However, further research must be done to completely identify why there is a connection.
Hearing Loss Treatment Could Lower Risk of Dementia
At Advanced Hearing Group, we’ve long been supporters of early hearing loss diagnosis and treatment. For infants, children, and adolescents, early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss can significantly contribute to healthy growth and development, particularly in the areas of speech, communication, and social skills.
For adults and seniors, the situation really isn’t much different. Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of things including occupational noise hazards, genetic factors, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions such as Meniere’s disease. Regardless of the cause, however, the sooner hearing loss is detected and treated, the smaller the impact on an individual’s daily life.
Benefits of hearing loss treatment for all ages include:
- Better communication, including the ability to actively participate in conversation
- Improved relationships with family members, friends, and even strangers
- Increased independence and confidence with activities of daily living
- Enhanced overall health and mental health
And now, even though the connection may not yet be fully defined, we can add ‘lower the risk of dementia and cognitive decline’ to the list.
Manage the Hearing Loss and Dementia Risk in Your Own Life with Professional Hearing Loss Treatment
The first step toward mitigating your risk for dementia is to identify whether or not you have hearing loss. The easiest way to find out is with a thorough hearing evaluation which includes a hearing test.
Before you go, watch this video prepared by one of our audiologists: What Can I Expect During a Hearing Test? Then, schedule an appointment at our Mesa or Scottsdale hearing clinics and be ready to take action based on our audiologist’s recommendations.
For some, hearing loss treatment includes wearing hearing aids. And for others, part of the treatment may include preventing further hearing damage with the use of customized hearing protection.
Wherever you are with your hearing health, we’re here to help! Schedule an appointment with us today and get on the road to better hearing.
Read more about the Johns Hopkins research study linking hearing loss and dementia here.