by Michele Ahlman
Older people with untreated hearing loss are at a much greater risk for developing dementia over time than those who can hear well according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging.
According to leading researcher Dr. Frank Lin, compared with normal hearing participants, those with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss had two-fold, three-fold, and five-fold the risk of developing dementia over time. The study showed the greater the hearing loss, the higher the risk of developing the disease.
According to Dr. Lin, treatment as simple as a hearing aid can prevent or delay the onset of the disease. “A lot of people ignore hearing loss because it’s such a slow and insidious process as we age.”
Lin says. “Even if people feel as if they are not affected, we’re showing that it may well be a more serious problem.”
The landmark study conducted by the National Council on Aging links untreated hearing loss with depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
The survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids.
“It is very sad that so many older people are letting denial or vanity get in the way of treatments that can significantly improve the quality of their lives,” said Dr. James Firman, Ed.D., who is hearing impaired himself. “Doctors, care givers, and family members should insist that seniors with hearing-loss seek appropriate treatment.
“This study debunks the myth that hearing loss in older persons is a harmless condition.”
– James Firman, Ed.D.,
President & CEO of The National Council on the Aging
The good news is there are simple, affordable solutions that will help you or your loved one hear clearly, on the phone, watching TV and on the cell phone.
If you or a family member already has a hearing aid and just need some extra help, we have solutions for you too! Alarm clocks, answering machines & telephone ring signalers are also product solutions available to ensure you stay connected without spending a lot of money.