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Dementia & Hearing Loss

May 23, 2019

Did You Know Hearing Loss May Be Linked to Dementia?

A Message from Dr. Benjamin Wycherly

You already know that hearing loss can negatively affect your quality of life—it affects your job performance, your relationships with others, and your emotional health. But did you know that hearing loss could also be related to dementia?

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have found a link between hearing loss and dementia. One study has shown that cognitive abilities, including memory and concentration, declines 30%–40% faster in people with hearing loss. Although researchers are not sure if hearing loss is directly causing these cognitive problems, it’s clear that there is a correlation between the two.

Another study found that people with hearing loss had accelerated rates of brain shrinkage as they aged. Troublingly, this shrinkage was more severe in the parts of the brain that are involved in the early stages of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. This study highlights the urgency of treating hearing loss sooner rather than later in order to possibly prevent brain structure changes from happening.

If you are concerned about hearing loss in yourself or someone close to you, contact ProHealth Hearing & Balance to see how we can help.