Keep your mind sharp - address hearing loss.

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A study published in 2013 found that hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. Conducted by Johns Hopkins otologist and epidemiologist Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D. and other hearing experts, the study found that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than older adults whose hearing is normal.  Volunteers with hearing loss, underwent repeated cognition tests over six years and were found to have cognitive abilities that declined some 30 to 40 percent faster than in those whose hearing was normal. The researchers also found that the greater the hearing loss, the greater the levels of declining brain function.

Similarly, a 2011 study found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. The study also found that the more hearing loss they had, the higher their likelihood of developing dementia.

As people move through middle age and their later years, it is reasonable for them to get their hearing tested annually. If there is a hearing loss, it is best to take it seriously and treat it.

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