Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia and Other Mental Health Problems

Could hearing loss be causing brain tissue damage, resulting in dementia and other mental health problems? According to a leading UK authority on hearing health, studies suggest that there could be a link.


United Kingdom – WEBWIRE – Friday, February 21, 2014

A study by Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Aging has suggested that hearing loss can accelerate the loss of brain tissue.

Could hearing loss be causing brain tissue damage, resulting in dementia and other mental health problems? According to a leading UK authority on hearing health, studies suggest that there could be a link.

Millions of people in the UK, old and young, suffer from some degree of hearing loss, but few have an idea of the effect that this could have upon them in later life. In fact, more than 10 million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, but only 2 million have a hearing aid and even fewer use it regularly.

Now, a study by Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Aging has suggested that hearing loss can accelerate the loss of brain tissue, which could in turn lead to a decrease in mental and physical health.

The information was gleaned from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, which uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to examine volunteers every year, in addition to providing physical and hearing tests. Assistant professor Frank Lin PhD, discovered that those who experienced hearing problems also went on to return noticeable reductions in brain tissue through the MRI.

It is believed that those volunteers lost more than a cubic centimetre of brain tissue every year compared with those that had normal hearing. In addition, volunteers experienced more brain shrinkage in the specific parts of the brain used to process sound and speech, namely the superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri.

For this reason there is an argument to suggest that a digital hearing aid, which helps people living with hearing loss to maintain their ability to hear could stem the flow of brain shrinkage.

The latest digital hearing aids are available on the high street from Scrivens Hearing Care branches throughout the UK. In addition, many customers could be eligible for free NHS hearing aids available on the Any Qualified Provider scheme.
For more information, visit http://scrivenshearing.com


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