Hearing Loss & Dementia
Did you know that hearing loss and dementia are connected?
Did you know that hearing loss and dementia are connected? Research shows that hearing loss can be a factor that increases the risk of developing conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies reveal that people with hearing loss can be twice as likely to experience cognitive decline.
Dementia is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of medical conditions characterized by cognitive decline. This includes Lewy Body, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and vascular dementia. The most common type is Alzheimer’s which accounts for up to 70% of the dementia people experience today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6.2 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s disease. This is expected to more than double, reaching 12.7 million people by 2050.
There are no cures for dementia, which is why there is significant emphasis placed on prevention. Extensive research shows that hearing loss can be a risk factor for cognitive decline and that treating hearing loss is a useful way to protect hearing and brain health.
Link Between Hearing Loss & Dementia
- 30% higher among people with mild hearing loss
- 42% higher among people with moderate hearing loss
- 54% higher among people with severe hearing loss
Impact of Hearing Loss on the Brain
Treating Hearing Loss Supports Brain Health
- University of Melbourne Study: researchers evaluated the impact of hearing aids on the brain by assessing the hearing and cognitive capacities of nearly 100 people (ages 62-82), before and after the use of hearing aids. Researchers found that:
- “97% of participants showed either clinically significant improvement or stability in executive function (mental ability to plan, organize information and initiate tasks)”.
- Study Published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society: researchers conducted memory tests on over 2,000 people and found that wearing hearing aids increased test scores.