"It all starts with assessing the degree of hearing loss and its impact on functional cognitive decline."
-Dr. Leslie Soiles in "Hearing Loss and Dementia: Breakthrough Research Seeks Causal Link" in The Hearing Journal.
Recently, HearingLife's chief audiologist, Dr. Leslie Soiles was quoted in The Hearing Journal in an article that focused on hearing loss and dementia.
The number of people with dementia is expected to triple by 2050,¹ so it's important for scientists and medical providers to gain a better understanding of exactly how hearing loss and dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, are linked.
Hearing loss and dementia: the risk factors
Recent research has found correlations between hearing loss and dementia. As The Hearing Journal's Kelly Wolfgang notes, "The risk of developing dementia doubles for older adults with mild hearing loss, and triples for those with moderate hearing loss. And for those with severe hearing loss, the risk is five times that of someone who does not suffer hearing loss."¹ That is why it is vital that medical professionals who work with people with hearing loss keep abreast of the latest research and theories.
According to the article, research is ongoing all over the world; this includes NIH-funded studies in the US aimed at mitigating the consequences of hearing impairment on cognitive health.
Seeing signs of cognitive decline during a hearing assessment
Dr. Soiles dows a good job explaining how audiologists and hearing care providers at HearingLife can impact outcomes for our patrons. Just by asking simple questions, like a person's recall of their date of birth, she can make note of important cognitive signs. These signals help her in her hearing-related work with people with memory issues.
The article, which looks at the global impacts of dementia and its potential links to hearing loss, ends with Dr. Soiles noting how hearing care providers work with other healthcare providers to find solutions to hearing loss.
Read the full article