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Hearing Loss and Brain Health: What’s the Connection?

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Recent research findings indicate that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than older adults whose hearing is normal. It has been reported that as many as 27 million Americans over age 50, including two-thirds of men and women aged 70 years and older, suffer from some form of hearing loss. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, close to 8 million people between the ages of 18 and 44 have hearing loss. A study last year from Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging reported that people with hearing loss have accelerated brain tissue loss, possibly contributing to a decline in memory and other cognitive function.

Also of concern is the fact that only 15 percent of those who need a hearing aid get one, leaving much of the problem and its consequences untreated. Diminished hearing can impact can impact conversation with family members and health care professionals, but what if untreated hearing loss could also impact the diagnosis of dementia?

Join my guest, Dr Lindsey Jorgensen, Audiologist, and Assistant Professor Communication Sciences & Disorders, College of Arts & Sciences, University of South Dakota, as we discuss hearing, cognition, and communication. To learn more about speech, language and hearing health or to locate an audiolgist or speech-language pathologist, visit: www.asha.org

Listen, learn, and join the discussion. Call toll free: (888) 787-5265 or SKYPE

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