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Hearing Loss Accelerates Brain Decline

Hearing Loss Accelerates Brain Decline
PHOTOS.COM

BALTIMORE (UPI) — Older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than those whose hearing is normal, a U.S. researcher said.

Senior study investigator and Johns Hopkins otologist and epidemiologist Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., said all study participants had normal brain function when the study began in 2001. They were initially tested for hearing loss, defined as recognizing only those sounds louder than 25 decibels.

The data on a subset of 1,984 men and women ages 75 to 84 came from a larger, ongoing study monitoring the health of older blacks and whites in Memphis and Pittsburgh.

The volunteers with hearing loss had repeated cognition tests over six years.

The study found those who had hearing loss also had cognitive abilities that declined some 30 percent to 40 percent faster than those whose hearing was normal.

Levels of declining brain function were directly related to the amount of hearing loss, the researchers said.

The findings, published in the journal Internal Medicine, found that on average, older adults with hearing loss developed a significant impairment in their cognitive abilities 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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  • dan

    good points,interesting study….but I’ve noticed the same symptoms with people that quit LISTENING.
    Do your ears a favor by taking a spoonful of lukewarm olive oil (virgin,if applicable…))and apply.
    Allow it to soak and soften wax deposits before GENTLY rinsing with warm water (baster/water bulb in the shower works well) Repeat as necessary.
    You can go to hospital ER and have a nurse do this and charge Medicare/Medicaid….but you’d be surprised how many will do it for themselves once you explain that no one need know and
    that they’ll probably be able to hear what everyone is whispering about them .

    • Ron

      Dan,

      Not all hearing loss is caused by wax in the inner ear. I know I have had a slight hearing loss since early child hood and has been progressing to the point that I will need hearing aids. The problem for most seniors is the cost. A set that actually works well is around $4000.00 – $6000.00, the rest are junk!

      • Andy

        I find it interesting that most insurance policies now cover eye exams and sometimes even the glasses/contacts; however, they haven’t gotten involved in the hearing-impaired segment and that is so much more expensive than eyeglasses.

  • USAF VET

    It’s better to use earwax softener and then an ear syringe. Both available at any drugstore. What I find strange is that they are saying hearing loss affects seniors, but what about all those who have had hearing loss from an early age?

    I have serious doubts about this study due to knowing people who have had hearing loss and it never seemed to harm their cognitive process.

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