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Hearing Loss & Dementia

A recent report by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging determined there is a link between hearing loss and the onset of dementia. The study concluded that “adults with hearing loss are significantly more likely than adults with normal hearing to develop dementia.” Mild hearing loss doubled the risk, and for those patients with severe hearing loss the risk was five times that of someone with normal hearing. The risk became apparent after the hearing loss began to interfere with the patient’s ability to communicate. Frank Lin, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Otology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an author of the study explains the link with hearing loss and dementia as it’s more likely that the neurological stress of dealing with hearing loss contributes to dementia. He also believes that the social isolation that comes with hearing loss is also a factor.