As hearing declines with age, the risk of dementia may increase

Thursday, December 7, 2017 (HealthDay News)-Age often causes hearing loss, which can lead to mental decline in the form of dementia for some people. But are the two linked?

Experts suggest that hearing loss increases the likelihood of dementia, but the jury has not yet determined whether one condition actually causes the other. Hmm.

About one-third of adults over the age of 65 experience age-related hearing loss, according to a team of Irish researchers at Trinity College Dublin. Also, in previous studies, hearing loss often precedes the onset of dementia by about 5-10 years, but this is not always the case.

In a new study, a team led by David Loughrey of Trinity reviewed data from 36 studies of more than 20,000 people worldwide. Researchers have found a small link between age-related hearing loss and increased risk of mental decline, mental illness, and dementia.

The authors of the study wrote about dementia that “although less relevant, size and importance were comparable to other more commonly studied risk factors.” For example, looking only at the most commonly conducted prospective studies, age-related hearing loss was associated with a 22% higher odds of cognitive (mental) illness and a 28% higher risk of dementia of all types. ..

However, especially when looking at Alzheimer’s disease, Loughrey’s group found no association between hearing loss and its brain-depriving disorders.

Researchers emphasized that causality cannot be proven. But if hearing loss is associated with dementia, it does not mean that the elderly are powerless to prevent either condition, one geriatric scholar said.

“As we grow older, hearing loss appears to be a correctable risk factor for cognitive decline. This is good news for older people, as hearing loss can be easily diagnosed and treated with the right hearing aids. That’s what Dr. Giselewolf said. -Klein.She directs geriatric education at Northwell Health in Great Neck, NY

Dr. Ian Storper directs otology at the Hearing and Balance Disorders Center of the New York Head and Neck Institute, which is part of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Examining the findings, he emphasized that older Americans with hearing impairments do not have to panic, as studies cannot prove that hearing loss helps cause dementia.

The study also does not suggest that hearing loss is the only risk factor for dementia, Stoper said. And if hearing loss is a risk factor for cognitive decline, he said, “If possible, using a hearing aid can be a preventable risk factor, which can also help improve your hearing. I agreed with Wolf Klein.

The findings were published in the journal on December 7th. JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery..

-EJ Mandel

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Source: Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD, Director of Geriatrics Education, Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY. Ian Storper, MD, Dean of Otology, Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders, New York Head and Neck Institute, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City. JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, News Release, December 7, 2017

As hearing declines with age, the risk of dementia may increase

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