In recent years, several studies have found a connection between hearing loss and dementia. According to an article posted on the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) website, researchers have come up with several different potential causes: vascular disease, cognitive overload, changes in brain structure, and sensory deprivation. For example, researchers believe the additional resources needed to compensate for hearing loss may deplete those needed for functions like memory or cognition. Additionally, hearing loss has been correlated with a decrease in grey matter volume in the auditory cortex and neural activity.
According to a recent Australian study, there is a 69% increase in dementia for men with reported hearing loss. A summary of the study’s results, published on the Hear-it AISBL—a nonprofit organization that provides information on hearing loss—website, show the results of the study, which was published in Maturitas. In this article, we’ll share the highlights, edited and adapted from the Hear-it website.
In the study, researchers followed 37,898 older men for 25 years living in Perth, Western Australia. The second part of the study involved a review and meta-analysis of relevant studies examining the link between dementia and hearing loss. Of the men with self-reported hearing loss, researchers found a 69% increase in dementia risk compared to those with normal hearing.
These findings, according the article, compare to a recent French study in which individuals with self-reported hearing loss who did not use hearing aids, were found to have a significantly higher risk of developing dementia. This was compared to those with either normal hearing or those who utilized hearing aids.
If you suspect you have hearing loss, it’s best to visit a hearing care professional to get evaluated. Worried about high treatment costs? With CareCredit, you can ease the financial burden associated with medical care, by spreading your payments out over time.
This content is provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by CareCredit and also adapted from Hear-it.org.