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Johns Hopkins Health - Could Hearing Loss Contribute to Dementia?

Summer 2011
Issue No. 13

Could Hearing Loss Contribute to Dementia?

Date: July 22, 2011

old couple

Older adults with hearing loss may be missing out on more than just what’s being said. A study by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging suggests that hearing loss could increase the risk of dementia.

Researchers are trying to determine the reason. “That’s really the billion-dollar question,” says study leader Frank R. Lin, M.D., Ph.D., a Johns Hopkins otologist who specializes in hearing loss among older adults.

Johns Hopkins is embarking on a long-term study to search for a definitive link and to learn whether treating hearing loss might delay the onset of dementia. In the meantime, Lin encourages people to address signs of hearing loss.

“Hearing aids are essentially no-risk therapies,” he explains, “and they clearly improve your quality of life.”

For more information, appointments or consultations, call 877-546-1872 or visit

Watch and listen to Johns Hopkins hearing experts explain hearing loss and treatment options. View “Can You Hear Me?” and “Hearing: Lost and Found” at

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