jump to example.com
newsletter linked in

Are Hearing Loss and Dementia Connected?

hearing health careDo you have hearing difficulties? If yes, do you sometimes find that it seems like work just to understand what the people near you are saying? This is a sensation that happens even to people wearing hearing aids, because in order for them to perform well you need to have them tuned and adjusted properly, and then become accustomed to using them.

Unfortunately, the repercussions of this phenomenon may not be limited to loss of hearing function; it might also be related to declines in cognitive abilities. In newly released studies, scientists have found that hearing loss drastically raises your chances of contracting Alzheimer’s and dementia.

One such research study was conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on 639 participants ages 36 to 90 16-year period. The researchers found that at the end of the research project, 58 of the participants (9%) had developed dementia, and 37 (5.8 percent) had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the greater their degree of hearing impairment, the higher was the likelihood of developing dementia; for every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the likelihood of dementia increased 20 percent.

In a similar research study, evaluating 1,984 participants, researchers observed a similar association between dementia and hearing loss, but they also found that the hearing-impaired experienced noticeable declines in their cognitive capabilities. The hearing-impaired participants developed reduced thinking capacity and memory loss 40% faster than participants with normal hearing. In both studies, an even more dismaying discovery was that this relationship was not lessened by using hearing aids.

Researchers have offered several hypotheses to explain the connection between loss of hearing and loss of cognitive capabilities. One explanation is based on the question at the start of this article, and has been given the name cognitive overload. Some think that if you are hearing-impaired, your brain tires itself just trying to hear that it has a diminished capacity to understand what is being said. The resulting lack of understanding may cause social isolation, a factor that has been demonstrated in other studies to lead to dementia. Another theory is that neither dementia nor hearing loss cause the other, but that they’re each related to an as-yet-undiscovered disease mechanism – possibly vascular, possibly genetic, possibly environmental – that causes both.

Despite the fact that these study outcomes are a little depressing, there is hope to be found in them. For those of us who wear hearing aids, these results serve as a reminder to see our hearing specialists on a regular basis to keep the aids perfectly fitted and programmed, so that we aren’t continually straining to hear. If you do not have to work so hard to hear, you have greater cognitive power to understand what is being said, and remember it. And, if it turns out that loss of hearing is an early indicator of dementia, diagnosing the hearing loss early may allow for early intervention to delay the development.

More online at www.VirginiaHearingAids.com.

 
Top Stories
a

Dick Vitale blocked me on Twitter: How I got to this lowly state

Dick Vitale pulled himself away from Coach K’s birthday party Saturday night to lay a Twitter smackdown on yours truly.

Allen buzzer-beater lifts Duke past #7 Virginia, 63-62

Grayson Allen atoned for two big misses at the free-throw line with a buzzer-beating runner to lift Duke to a 63-62 win over #7 Virginia on Saturday in Durham, N.C.

New Wayne Theatre effort to support local arts

The Wayne Theatre Alliance will create a Local Arts Fund that will be available to local performance groups to offset costs associated with using the Wayne.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline to adopt alternative route through national forests

Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC has worked with the U.S. Forest Service over the last several months to find an alternative route that avoids sensitive areas.

Strong enrollment in health insurance marketplace in Virginia

Nearly 421,900 Virginians have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace, exceeding expectations that enrollment would reach 400,000 this year.

Waynesboro begins Downtown Riverfront improvements

Spring 2016 marks the beginning of some dramatic and exciting changes to the Downtown Riverfront area in Waynesboro.

City leaders want to delay new Waynesboro High School talks: Smart move

Waynesboro City Council leaders want to delay talks with the Waynesboro School Board over the future of Waynesboro High School until after the May city elections.

McAuliffe seems to welcome criticism from Everytown on gun bill

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has reversed course on gun control and is taking the incremental approach. A one-time ally is calling foul.

Fishburne Military School rifle team again best in Virginia

Brian Draper and his teammates on the Fishburne Military School rifle team would soon be taking aim with rifles at targets 50 feet away.

Bring your business courtside (almost) to 2016 ACC Tournament

Augusta Free Press will once again be courtside at the ACC Tournament - this year coming to the nation's capital March 8-12.

 
Discussion
 
Recent News

AFP Business

AFP: The Magazine

In 2015, Augusta Free Press brought back our print magazine under a new name, Augusta Free Press: The Magazine.
.
 

Advertise on AFP

Get information on AFP readership and advertising online with us.
.
 

AFP Classes

Augusta Free Press offers a series classes on website design, marketing strategy, social media, event planning and more.
.
 

AFP Web Design

Get your business online for as little as $1,299. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development.
.
 

AFP Graphic Design

Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
.

AFP Marketing/PR

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
.
 

AFP Search Engine Optimization

The prettiest website in the world is like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. If your website hasn’t been search engine optimized, no one is going to see it or hear it – and it’s not going to work for you.

 

AFP Video/Audio

Web videos, TV and radio commercials, DVDs – Augusta Free Press LLC has you covered when it comes to video and audio production.
.
 

AFP Book Publishing

Augusta Free Press Publishing has produced books in-house and assisted more than 17 authors with book publishing and production services since 2003. Whether you need a cover, layout, or need help from start to finish, we are here to help!
.