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Johns Hopkins Says Hearing Aids Make You Smarter!


Ok, so I’ve taken a few liberties in choosing the title of this article, but you’ll see the connection by the end. This article is really about the impact of untreated hearing loss on the brain. We see folks every day in our clinic who are excellent candidates for amplification, but for a variety of different reasons choose not to treat their hearing loss. Most of us know that hearing loss can lead to isolation, depression, and other mental issues. Recent research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has linked some other serious risks with untreated hearing loss that you might not know about. They have been studying hearing loss in around 2000 people for nearly 15 years and the results are kind of frightening if you ask me! The silver lining is that hearing loss can be treated. Without further ado, I’d like to present to you the findings of several related studies conducted at Johns Hopkins in the area of untreated hearing loss:

Cognition

Results of a study on the link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline have shown that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than those with normal hearing. Adults with hearing loss in this study saw cognitive abilities decline 30 - 40% faster. The researchers explained that the decreased cognitive abilities occur because the brain has to devote too much energy to processing sound, rather than contributing it towards memory and other cognitive processes. In other words, if you are struggling to hear things all the time, your brain will have to compensate