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      Hearing loss shows ties to memory loss

      Hearing loss is a condition that affects many people, but is often left untreated and a new study shows that hearing loss may also be linked to memory loss.

      Unfortunately, the common stigmas associated with hearing loss has caused some to wait 10 to 20 years before they see an audiologist, but the recent study that links hearing loss with memory issues may have some choosing to visit sooner.

      "We know that depression is more prevalent in people with significant hearing loss and we've long suspected the association with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia," said Dr. Ray Cameron, Otolaryngologist.

      "People don't realize that the brain is essentially a muscle," said Dr. Jeff Hutchinson. "It kind of has the 'use it or lose it' phenomenon. So if a person has hearing loss, the auditory centers of the brain aren't being stimulated the way they should."

      Experts say the brains of those with hearing loss are having to work harder to hear, which can cause less mental energy. The Dickinson ENT clinic says that while improving hearing loss doesn't guarantee a cure for memory loss, it can only do good.