People with hearing loss are more likely to experience difficulty with thinking and memory than their peers with normal hearing, says a new study by Doctor’s Health Press. The study was published in the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin.
The study followed older adults over a six year period.
Adults were identified as having a hearing loss when they only recognized sounds louder than 25 decibels.
Key information from the study
- The cognitive abilities of the adults with hearing loss declined 30 to 40 percent faster than adults with normal hearing
- The rate of cognitive decline was directly related to the degree of hearing loss
- Older adults with hearing loss had significantly impaired cognitive abilities 3.2 years sooner than hearing people
- It is possible that hearing loss is linked to loneliness and social isolation, which are identified as risk factors for cognitive decline
- It is possible that the brain is spending so much energy processing sound that there is less energy available for thinking and memory
The researchers will be doing a followup study to investigate whether hearing aids in older adults actually delay cognitive decline.
As many as 27 million Americans over age 50 may have hearing loss, including two-thirds of adults over 70.
Doctors Health Press Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, is the publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin.