Hearing Loss & Dementia

Dementia is a condition that affects millions of people every year. Those who live with this illness experience a decline in mental ability, which can include memory loss, personality changes and other issues.

These changes affect people’s lives, their families and the community. Recent studies have found that hearing aids could help reduce the risk of people developing this devastating condition.

Doctor Frank Lin, an otologist, led a research team at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that investigated hearing loss and dementia. His team found evidence of a causal link between the two; people with hearing impairments were at a greater risk of developing dementia over time. The evidence suggests that using hearing aids could delay or prevent the onset of dementia.

While these theories have not been tested, the research team did speculate on why hearing loss could lead to dementia. They suggest that straining to hear sounds over a long period of time can place stress on the brain, making it more vulnerable. Another possibility is that hearing loss causes social isolation, which is known for creating a higher risk of cognitive disorders.

 

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