Hearing loss, a typical symptom of aging, may increase the risks of experiencing dementia if it remains untreated.
New studies show that individuals who experience the greatest loss of hearing are at a higher risk of having Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia when compared to individuals with mild or no hearing loss.
These new findings are interesting for researchers as they provide an additional method of potential prevention of dementia.
The study, lasting nearly 20 years, was initiated by the National Institute on Aging and Johns Hopkins. For the duration of the study, 639 older individuals who experienced no dementia signs were analyzed. Every year or two, researchers checked in on the participants.
Researchers found that people with some level of hearing loss to start the study were also more likely to eventually suffer from dementia. Individuals with severe hearing loss were five times as likely to eventually develop dementia when compared to individuals without any hearing loss.
Experts explain the link between dementia and hearing loss is currently unknown, but this study provides some insight as to a potential relationship between the two, and the potential risks of individuals failing to treat hearing loss as it begins.