Research by Lin and his team reveals a strong association between untreated hearing loss and the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults—a link that poses big public health problems because of the aging population, says Lin, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, geriatric medicine, mental health, and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. As many as 5 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease—just one specific type of dementia—and that number will increase significantly with current population trends, according to the National Institute on Aging, unless something’s done to treat or prevent it.
Lin’s work focuses on three main questions surrounding the dementia-hearing loss link: What are the consequences of hearing loss (which affects about two-thirds of everyone older than 70) for older adults? Does treating hearing loss make a difference? And how do we address the issue from a big-picture, societal perspective?
Shared from The ASHA Leader, June 2015.