Primary Care Physician
Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
A Hearing Aid Could Actually Counteract Dementia
Posted in Hearing Loss & ... by Dr. Sharon Orrange on Feb 05, 2013
“She/he can’t hear a word I say!” It drives family members crazy. Everyone knows someone with hearing loss and it is no joke. Two-thirds of adults over 70 have hearing loss and now we have concrete evidence that it may contribute to dementia. Older adults with hearing loss have a rate of cognitive decline up to 40% faster than the rate in those with normal hearing. And…it’s fixable.

Think of it this way: when listening is more challenging our brains must work harder to understand what has been said. It is this increased demand that may lead to early dementia. There are also long-term changes in the brain when it is deprived of auditory information.

Dementia and cognitive decline are a huge issue going forward with our aging population. Hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia, and it’s fixable, so why not go full on after it. Hearing aids can have an impact on quality of life and possibly improve cognition yet many older adults remain resistant to using them. Why is that?

Hearing aids allow older adults to communicate more effectively and change their lives by allowing them to engage socially. Other than cost (and they are expensive,) there is certainly no downside to hearing aid use.

Hearing aids. Just do it.

- Dr. O


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CONDITIONS AND COMMUNITIES: Dementia  •  Hearing Loss & Deafness  •  Senior Health & Aging
TAGS: Symptoms  •  Therapies  •  Strange Tuesday

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More and more information is coming out about hearing loss being associated with dementia. It makes sense to those of us who were brought up in a hearing world and loses some % of hearing.

If you told this to a Deaf (as in culturally Deaf) person, duck :) . It would not be true for them. The difference is simple. You grow up hearing and then you don't. Your communication takes a big hit and confusion is part of our lives.

Grow up deaf and sign means there is no "loss" so to speak. My guess is the real stats on this would show Deaf people don't get dementia because they can still communicate as they age.
By SeniorUser  May 12, 2014
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