Hearing Loss and Dementia
It really doesn't seem fair: Hearing loss, a troublesome fact of life for more than 48 million Americans, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, may increase the risk of cognitive problems and even dementia. By the time Americans reach their 70s, two-thirds have hearing loss.
Fortunately, there's a potential upside. If this connection — shown in several recent and well-regarded studies — holds up, it raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively could help stave off cognitive decline and dementia.
Several neurological and mental-health-related conditions have been linked to untreated hearing loss. These include:
Addressing hearing loss makes a difference for your overall wellness. Research consistently demonstrates the considerable effects that hearing loss has on social, psychological and cognitive performance. Losing the ability to communicate effectively with others can mean weaker interpersonal relationships, especially for people with both hearing loss and dementia.
That’s why individuals even with a mild hearing loss should seek treatment quickly.