Ask the Medical Experts

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Gail Linn, Au.D.

Potomac Audiology

11300 Rockville Pike
Suite 105


I’ve heard there is a relationship between hearing loss and dementia. Is that true?  

Yes, Dr. Frank Lin, an otologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, released the results of a longitudinal study that supports that relationship. You can find great information on the Internet by searching “Frank Lin hearing loss and dementia.” Hearing loss is troublesome for more than 26 million people over 50, and it also may increase the risk of cognitive problems and dementia. Hearing loss may play a more important role in brain health than previously thought. This raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively may help delay or stop cognitive decline and dementia. As always, we highly recommend getting your hearing checked.

Is there anything you can do to prevent hearing loss?

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent loss of hearing. The most important is to not expose yourself to loud sounds such as the shooting of a gun, loud music or concerts, or lawn mowers. People should always use hearing protection.

If you have diabetes, you need to keep it under control because we know there is a relationship between hearing loss and diabetes. Recent research indicates heart and vascular problems can have an effect on hearing and hearing loss, too. Anyone with these types of health problems need to seek medical help for either medications or exercise programs to keep the heart and vascular system as healthy as possible.