Hearing Loss & Dementia

Facts & Stats
• Hearing loss is associated with a 30–40% accelerated rate of cognitive decline, and a 24% increased risk of cognitive impairment compared to normal hearing
• Compared to those with normal hearing, individuals with a mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss have a 2, 3 and 5-fold increased risk of dementia
How Hearing Plays an Important Role in Brain Health
• Untreated hearing loss may be associated with cognitive decline through social isolation and loneliness. Numerous studies have demonstrated social isolation as a recognized risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia
• When speech is garbled or unclear due to hearing loss, greater cognitive resources are required for auditory processing at the expense of other brain functions, such as working memory.6 This strain of decoding sounds over many years may overwhelm the brain, leaving the individual more susceptible to dementia
• Hearing rehabilitative therapies and devices may lessen cognitive load, provide increased auditory stimulation, and promote social engagement
• Investigators have pointed out that reducing cognitive decline and delaying the onset of dementia even slightly could lead to billions of dollars in healthcare savings and improve the quality of life of millions of older adults