Tag Archives: hearing damage

Hearing loss linked with dementia in older adults – Study

A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that older adults with greater severity of hearing loss were more likely to have dementia, but the likelihood of dementia was lower among hearing aid users compared to non-users.

The findings, from a nationally representative sample of more than 2,400 older adults, are consistent with prior studies showing that hearing loss might be a contributing factor to dementia risk over time, and that treating hearing loss may lower dementia risk.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

The findings are highlighted in a research letter published online January 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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What About Hearing Problems?

Hearing loss is common, according to Pamela Fiebig, AuD, Audiologist Northwestern University Dept of Otolaryngology/Audiology. Speaking before Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program®, Ms. Fiebig offered the following statistics:

Some 10 million Americans report significant hearing loss. Of those 10 million, four million are over age 65. That is 40 percent, or two out of five seniors. There are five million in the age group 18 to 64 years. Into the teen years, hearing loss percentages are negligible. Up to the end of the teenage years, hearing loss onset increases to barely double digits. But, starting at the age of 20 and reaching to age 39 some 20 percent of the female population and 32 percent of the males start to experience problems with their hearing. Men seem to suffer more than women and Ms. Fiebig reckoned that this was a result of manufacturing and industrial workplace noise which would be decreasing as less manufacturing was being done here.

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Some indications that your may be having hearing difficulties is that you need to turn up the TV during shows, but commercials sound fine. Likewise, does it sound like a lot of people you hear mumble? Unclear speach is an early sign of hearing beginning to fail.

So, seniors are very vulnerable to hearing loss, but it reaches down as low as the 20s.

She recommended having basic audiology tested with modern equipment that includes air-conduction evaluating outer to inner ear conditions. There is also bone conduction which evaluates the inner ear and finally, word recognition testing is done. Continue reading

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