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Hearing Loss & Dementia

Hearing Loss & Dementia

By: Audiologist, Angie Lederman, MS, CCC-A

Are you unaware of the hidden risks of hearing loss?

Do not wait to treat your hearing loss!

Scientists have found many consequences of untreated hearing loss, which affects your physical and mental well-being. A link with cognitive decline has been identified – hearing loss is the highest potential risk factor for developing dementia.

The auditory system works in conjunction with different parts of the brain to make sense of everything we take in. The brain has to process the sounds that our ears take in. Once you are not hearing those sounds, the brain forgets how to process that information. MRIs have actually shown brain shrinkage from untreated hearing loss. 

Hearing loss and dementia have many symptoms in common, which often leads to misdiagnosis. It is important to be proactive with hearing loss treatment. The longer a hearing loss goes untreated, the more serious the health impacts become.

Hearing health is an important part of overall health. Your sense of hearing is vital for interacting with your surroundings, which keeps your brain stimulated and prevents social withdrawal. When it’s a challenge to communicate with loved ones, those with untreated hearing loss frequently go into isolation. Compared to their normal-hearing peers, those who lose their hearing due to aging are two to five times more likely to develop dementia. Cognitive degradation gets worse as the hearing loss becomes more severe.

30% of adults over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss. The average person with hearing loss typically waits 7 years to seek treatment, while communication with loved ones deteriorates and health risks increase. Do not wait! More hearing can be preserved with earlier treatment.

It is important for everyone to get their hearing checked to notice changes in hearing levels early on. Yearly visits to an audiologist can help you monitor your hearing levels and treat a diagnosed hearing loss. Contact us today to schedule a hearing evaluation.

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