Hearing loss and cognition

HEARING LOSS AND COGNITION

Did you know that untreated hearing loss can increase your risk of developing dementia?

The link between hearing loss and dementia has been identified in studies, so it is important to prioritise your hearing health 1. There is evidence that wearing hearing aids may reduce the rate of cognitive decline for high-risk older adults 2.

The connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline

There is a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. The more severe the hearing loss, the greater the risk of developing dementia. It is possible that hearing loss leads to reduced mental stimulation and social isolation which increases the risk of dementia.
Research also indicates that individuals with hearing loss may experience accelerated cognitive decline compared to those with normal hearing 3.

Consequences of hearing loss on health

Hearing loss has long-term effects on health. It is believed to increase the risk of falls4, social isolation5, and brain strain6. The earlier that you treat hearing loss, the sooner that you start to reduce the risk of developing dementia as an older adult. We recommend that older adults should get their hearing checked and address any hearing issues. There is really no downside to it. Hearing aids help most people who try them, and they can make a huge difference by allowing people to engage with others.

Reducing your risk

Hearing loss is a modifiable risk factor for dementia which means that you can take action to manage it. Hearing intervention can improve communication and help you socially engage more. It may also support cognitive function over the long term, and this is the subject of further study.

By promoting hearing health and providing appropriate interventions, you may not only improve your communication abilities but also potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Helping you taking care of your hearing

Our highly qualified audiologists can test your hearing and prepare a treatment plan to help with your listening needs. We offer hearing tests in all our clinics throughout New Zealand.
You can find out where your nearest clinic is or use the module below to book an appointment at one of our clinics.

Sources:
1Hearing Loss and Incident Dementia
2Hearing Aids May Slow Dementia Onset
3Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults
4Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States
5Hearing Loss, Loneliness, and Social Isolation: A Systematic Review
6The Effects of Age-Related Hearing Loss on the Brain and Cognitive Function