Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Guide to Hearing Aids

Buying a Hearing Aid

Why waiting might be dangerous

Nearly two-thirds of Americans age 70 and older have experienced mild to severe hearing loss, and yet only one-fifth use hearing aids. Hearing problems, in fact, often are accepted as an inevitable part of aging, says Frank Lin, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Otology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

See also: Types of hearing aids.

But, like heart disease or high blood pressure, hearing loss, left untreated, can lead to serious problems. Problems commonly associated with hearing loss — loneliness and isolation — are among those older people fear the most, Lin says. And now a new study by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging finds that men and women with hearing loss are much more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

People with severe hearing loss, the study reports, were five times more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing. Even mild hearing loss doubled the dementia risk. That risk, says Lin, a coauthor of the study, appeared to increase once hearing loss began to interfere with the ability to communicate — for example, in a noisy restaurant.

A hearing aid will not completely restore your hearing — and there's no evidence yet that it will prevent dementia — but you can "expect substantial benefits," says Sergei Kochkin, who heads the Better Hearing Institute, an industry-funded nonprofit.

Next: How to get the right hearing aid. >>

Cathie Gandel is a freelance writer based in the New York City area.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points