Computer Science

Earth Science







Social Science




Sign-up for FTK Bulletin


Listen up! Hearing Loss Causes Dementia

BALTIMORE (Ivanhoe Newswire) --Two-thirds of older Americans suffer from hearing loss. It can be a part of aging, but hearing loss could lead to more than just lost words. If you’re hard of hearing, listen up!

Katherine Bouton started experiencing hearing loss when she was just 30 years old.

"I picked up the phone when it rang, to talk to somebody and I couldn’t hear anybody on the other end,” Katherine Bouton, a hearing loss patient told Ivanhoe.

That was the beginning of the end of her hearing in one ear.

"Eventually it declined to profoundly deaf,” Bouton said.

Hearing loss affects one in every ten Americans, but many don’t take it seriously and many don’t use hearing aids. But now hear this--a study by otologists, the ear experts at Johns Hopkins Hospital, found that hearing loss may be linked to dementia.

“What we found in this study was that adults with hearing loss, that they basically had increased risk of developing dementia over time depending on how severe their hearing loss was,” Frank Lin, M.D, Ph.D., an otologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital told Ivanhoe.

Doctors believe the strain of decoding sounds over many years may overwhelm the brain, leaving people with hearing loss more vulnerable to dementia. Also hearing loss can lead to social isolation, which is a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders.

“People with severe hearing loss had about a five-fold increase risk of developing dementia over time,” Dr. Lin said.

Katherine uses hearing aides and listening strategies to improve her communication skills.

“I’m very good at understanding sentences and putting material together and guessing what people are saying and I can read lips a little bit,” Bouton concluded.

It’s a combination worth listening for. The more hearing loss a person has, the higher their risk of developing dementia, which is another good reason to check the volume on your iPod now.

The Acoustical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:

Frank R. Lin, M.D. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Otolaryngology-
Center on Aging and Health
Johns Hopkins

This Month's TV Reports
Future Of Farming—Indoors And In The City

Vertical farms are a growing trend that’s turning old abandoned buildings into urban farms. We’ll take you inside and show you the new farm that’s producing crops and livestock indoors.


People Power: Turning Body Heat Into Energy

Move over coal, oil, solar, electric and natural gas … it’s time for some people power! Take your viewers inside the first building in the world to use the heat generated by people to power the building next door.


Saving Children: Surgery Corrects Spina Bifida Before Birth

Spina Bifida is one of the most common birth defects of the central nervous system. Now doctors are performing surgery even before birth to help these babies grow up to be active adults.


Growing Legs With ISKD

Imagine living life a little off balance—literally! Thousands of people have one leg longer than the other. A new device is helping to lengthen legs and get these people moving again.


Pay Attention! What Are You Doing While Driving?

Eighty-percent of all car crashes involve some form of distracted driving … but it’s not just cell phones that are to blame.


Tracking Oil Spills & Preventing Future Disasters

We are still cleaning up from the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Now, scientists have developed a new way to predict where oil will spread before a disaster happens.


Radioactive Water: Tea Bags To The Rescue?

It’s been months since the deadly earthquake rocked Japan, creating a nuclear disaster. It could be decades before all the radioactive waste is cleaned up. We’ll show you how tea bags with a twist could help.


Stroke—Is Your Family To Blame?

We all know our everyday habits can increase our risk of a stroke … but what role does our DNA play? Doctors around the world are working together to find out.


Listen Up! Hearing Loss Causes Dementia?

Two-thirds of all older Americans suffer from hearing loss. But hearing loss could lead to more than just lost words…it could lead to lost minds.


Treating Tremors With An Ultrasound

Millions of people suffer from tremors. A breakthrough procedure could stop the shaking without going under the knife.


World’s Smallest Microscope Focuses In On Cancer

New technology is giving surgeons the ability to not only detect cancer earlier, but also immediately treat it.


Super Soaker: Life-Saving Gauze

A police officer is shot in the line of duty nine times and you won’t believe what helped to save his life! What worked for him could save millions of other lives from the street to the combat zone.


Prior Reports
A joint production of Ivanhoe Broadcast News and the American Institute of Physics.
  Ivanhoe Broadcast News
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 19740-3843
(301) 209-3100
  P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802
  © 2011 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.