Posted on: August 10, 2023
Did you know that people with hearing loss experience cognitive decline at a faster rate than their peers with normal hearing? In fact, people 75 years and older with hearing loss experience 30-40% faster cognitive decline than their peers without hearing loss.
Current research suggests that hearing loss, regardless of severity, increases the risk of cognitive decline. This means that even mild hearing loss may increase your risk of cognitive decline long-term.
Researchers are investigating several causes for this connection. However, the exact cause is still unknown. Some say that this is caused by the social isolation associated with hearing loss, leading to higher rates of cognitive decline in those with hearing loss. Other researchers suggest it is due to the brain needing to work harder to decipher speech when a person has hearing loss, known as cognitive overload.
Whatever the reason for the link, it is clear that untreated hearing loss can lead to a higher risk of cognitive impairment. In fact, MRI scans consistently show that individuals with hearing loss lose brain tissue more quickly than those with normal hearing. The tissue loss is most pronounced in the areas of the brain that process hearing and speech.
However, being treated with hearing aids could help reduce the rate of cognitive decline. Research on the topic is now finding that diagnosing hearing loss early and treating it may help to reduce the risk of faster cognitive decline. That is why it is crucial to seek treatment quickly if you are experiencing hearing loss.
If you or someone you know are experiencing hearing loss, call now to book an appointment with one of our local hearing experts!
Cole Harbour: 902-406-4327
Lower Sackville: 902-252-3004
Sources: Starkey Hearing Technology, John Hopkins Medical, and Bisogno, et al. (2021)