Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia

Hearing loss is very common as we grow older The loss affects how we interact with family, friends, and everyday social interactions.  A top researcher at Johns Hopkins Medical Center sees hearing loss linked to dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.

“The general perception is that hearing loss is a relatively inconsequential part of aging,” says Frank Lin, M.D., an otologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lin says recent findings suggest that it may play a much more important role in brain health than previously believed.

Dr. Lin does see the potential upside. If the connection — shown in several recent and well-regarded studies — holds up, it raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively could help slow down or prevent cognitive decline and dementia. Lin and other researchers have several theories about the possible cause of the link between hearing and dementia, although they aren’t yet sure which of them — if any — will hold true.

Lin has authored several studies indicating a link between hearing and cognitive problems ranging from mild impairment all the way to dementia. In a 2013 study, he and his colleagues tracked concentration, memory and planning skills of nearly 2,000 adults whose average age was 77. After six years, those who began the study with hearing loss severe enough to interfere with conversation were 24 percent more likely than those with normal hearing to have seen their cognitive abilities diminish. In the findings the researchers found hearing loss seemed to speed up age-related cognitive decline.

It is common for people to withdraw from social settings and feel isolated from others because of their hearing loss. Admitting there is a loss and treating it is the first step to reconnecting with people around us. It will improve daily communication but  it can help prevent or delay cognitive decline.

If you suspect you have hearing difficulties, please get it tested. Call us today.

December 10th, 2014|Hearing Health|

Ringing in your Ears?

All of us have experienced a ringing sensations in our ears. The ringing in your ears is known as tinnitus and is a very common problem affecting nearly 50 million Americans. Thankfully, for most, it does not pose a significant problem; but for a small percentage, it is very intrusive. Problem tinnitus  is the frequent experience of bothersome sound that other people cannot hear. For individuals with problem tinnitus, it is perceived as a threat to their well-being. For these people, it interferes with their daily work and even with their sleep.

Excessive exposure to loud noises, head and neck trauma, cardiovascular disease, jaw misalignment, medicine, and hearing loss are common factors that cause ear ringing or head noise. It’s best to consult with a hearing expert than trying to cope. If you experience this ringing sensation in your ears, come see us for a hearing evaluation. For most, tinnitus is associated with an actual hearing loss. By addressing the hearing loss, the tinnitus becomes less noticeable. Hearing aids along with other technology, are specifically designed to bring welcome tinnitus relief.

July 11th, 2014|Hearing Health|