Who would have thought? In a research study done by hearing experts at Johns Hopkins are saying that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than those with normal hearing.
Over the course of six years, volunteers with hearing loss underwent repeated cognitive tests, and they showed a cognitive decline of 30 to 40 percent faster than those with normal hearing. In addition, cognitive abilities were impaired 3.2 years sooner than those whose hearing was normal.
One possible reason is that hearing loss forces the brain to spend most of its energy on processing sound.
“Our results show that hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of aging, because it may come with some serious long-term consequences to healthy brain functioning,” says Dr. Frank Lin, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
What about those who wear hearing aids? Will hearing devices help prevent or delay cognitive decline? That’s another study that is under way by Dr. Lin and his team.
There are about 27 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer some type of hearing loss.
Readers: What is your take on this?