Is hearing impairment linked with dementia risk?

The effects of hearing loss are cumulative. Just as muscles grow weak from lack of use, the brain loses its ability to process sounds and recognize speech without regular auditory stimulation. By the time you acknowledge your hearing loss, you may have already lost the full appreciation of sounds and music you once enjoyed.

New research shows that hearing-impaired individuals have an increased risk of developing dementia as they age. This was discovered in a study involving more than 600 men and women between the age of 36 and 90. Those with mild hearing losses had nearly twice the chance of developing dementia as those with normal hearing. The risk was threefold for those with moderate hearing losses and fivefold for severe impairment. Understanding whether hearing loss and dementia are directly linked could give important insight into dementia, but more research will be needed. It is known that, left untreated, hearing loss leads to an increased sense of isolation, which may be a contributing factor to the development of dementia.

If you have any concerns about your hearing, please call Aldershot Audiology today to schedule a complimentary hearing assessment.