Study: Loss of hearing could put you at greater risk for Alzheimer's, dementia


    There may be yet another reason today to get help if you notice you aren't hearing well. A new study says hearing may play a critical role in brain power. (WKRC)

    CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There may be yet another reason today to get help if you notice you aren't hearing well. A new study says hearing may play a critical role in brain power.

    We often just think it's frustrating when we can't hear well or if you have a spouse or a loved one that you have to repeat things to a lot. But now, a new study in Alzheimer's and Dementia shows hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, especially if you don't get something such as hearing aids to boost it.

    This study looked mainly at men and found even mild hearing loss led to a significant cognitive decline. That can be everything from memory loss to thinking and reasoning. Cognitive decline is also considered an early risk for Alzheimer's disease.

    One reason, however, many men and women don't get hearing-assistance devices has to do with vanity or social stigma. But Dr. Mike Hill of Hill Hear Better says that stigma shouldn't exist anymore: Devices are now so small that people don't even know you have them in your ear.

    Even though these devices are expensive, Dr. Hill says, many times, they are a covered benefit for veterans and companies do now work with people on managing costs.

    The authors of this study say hearing loss may also be a way to identify people at risk for Alzheimer's disease, and any early interventions may help slow decline.

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