Research over the past several years led by Center researchers has established the contribution of hearing loss to the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. Much of this work is being completed by a team of otolaryngologists, audiologists, and researchers at the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Led by Frank Lin, MD, they have found that “longitudinal studies of community-dwelling older adults have demonstrated that hearing impairment is independently associated with a 30-40% rate of accelerated cognitive decline” (Lin FR, Ferrucci L, An Y, Goh JO, Doshi J, Metter EJ, Davatzikos C, Kraut MA, Resnick SM, Neuroimage. 2014 Apr 15; 90():84-92).
This tells us that we need to all take hearing and hearing loss seriously. If you believe you or a family member are experiencing hearing or communication difficulties, schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your community and get your hearing tested!
If you want to learn more about the Cochlear Center, their work and their research, please go to Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health.