Recent studies have shown such a serious link between untreated hearing loss and dementia that the Better Hearing Institute, a non-for-profit corporation that educates the public about the neglected problem of hearing loss and what can be done about it, is urging people to have their hearing tested during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in November. Currently, there are over 36 million people in the U.S. alone who experience hearing loss.
In 2011, a study conducted by various hearing professionals found that as the severity of the hearing loss increases, so does the likelihood of dementia. When asking to complete cognitive tests, individuals with untreated hearing loss scored significantly lower than those without. Because participants were forced to exert so much energy trying to hear accurately, they were unable to comprehend speech and struggled to remember what they heard.
Dr. Arthur Wingfield, professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis University, recommends that adults seek an annual hearing test. He also believes that when a hearing loss is diagnosed, it should be taken very seriously and solutions should be sought immediately.
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