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BENTONVILLE -- People who choose to seek treatment for hearing loss will be happy to know that they have also reduced their risk of serious cognitive disease.

According to recent research by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, people with hearing loss may face a 36 percent increase in the risk of dementia and other cognitive diseases. These findings appear to reinforce the results of another recent study of 2,000 adults in which individuals with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss were found to be 24 percent more likely than those with normal hearing to see their cognitive function diminish early.

"As audiologists, we are concerned about the possibility that the hearing loss we are treating, in some instances, might be a leading indicator for other health concerns," said Dr. Hope Rowe of Blue Wave Hearing Centers. "We know that some individuals become increasingly isolated when hearing loss becomes a problem, and that's another risk factor involved with dementia and other cognitive diseases. The great part about this discovery is that more people are getting their hearing checked at younger ages and finding out that the solutions for hearing loss are simpler than they may have first thought and that actions can be taken that yield positive results."

According to the Johns Hopkins study, those with a hearing loss greater than 25 decibels are most at risk. The potential for cognitive decline increases with greater levels of hearing loss.

Blue Wave Hearing Centers encourages people as young as 45 to have a baseline hearing exam every year.

"What we're seeing as the science of hearing loss continues to expand is a leap in the number of people who are excited about the possibility of better hearing health," said Dr. Beth Muller of Blue Wave Hearing Centers. "So far the evidence seems to suggest that better hearing helps keep the brain sharp and, as more people seek better-hearing solutions, we end up with a mentally sharper, healthier population as a whole."

General News on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: Potential cognitive decline from hearing loss could be avoided

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