Hearing loss can lead to irreversible brain changes

Years of research by institutions like Johns Hopkins and Ohio State University (among others) have proven that hearing loss causes changes to our brains — changes that have been linked to cognitive decline and even dementia.

While the jury is still out on whether treating hearing loss can prevent these brain changes, studies have shown that — for people with hearing loss — the use of hearing aids reduces memory loss and is associated with a delayed diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

One thing experts do seem to agree on is today’s hearing fact — that the longer you leave hearing loss untreated, the more likely those brain changes will be permanent, or at least very challenging to fix.

In the 2018 Stanford Medicine publication Listening, Stanford’s clinical instructor of otolaryngology, Yona Vaisbuch, MD, explains, “With time, those brain changes will not be reversible. That’s why we need to treat hearing loss as soon as possible,” while Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins recommends treating hearing loss “sooner rather than later…before these brain structural changes take place.”

If you’ve got hearing loss and want to be proactive about potential brain health issues, we can help. Simply type your zip code in here and a you’ll get a list of hearing healthcare professionals in your area who can test your hearing and consult with you about treatment options available to you.


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By Starkey Hearing