Dementia and Hearing Loss: The Link

25 October 2017

Did you know that hearing loss is linked to dementia? Studies show that the same areas of the brain that are responsible for auditory processing are linked to dementia, Alzheimer's and depression, and that hearing loss dramatically increases your risk of developing one of these conditions.

Dementia is a debilitating and frightening condition that is becoming increasingly common in the elderly population. Memory loss, confusion and anxiety make day-to-day life challenging and many sufferers are reliant on carers to keep them safe. Those who experience conditions such as dementia are often unable to remain in their own homes, and even in the early stages of the condition, independent living can be extremely difficult.

How Does Hearing Loss Affect Dementia?

1. The area of the brain that processes sounds and makes sense of them begins to shrink when it is used less. When hearing loss occurs, it is stimulated less frequently and decline begins.

2. As this key area of the brain shrinks and becomes less responsive, conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer's and depression become much more common. A person with mild hearing loss is twice as likely to develop dementia, and severe hearing loss increases the risk by up to five times.

3. The good news is that the damage is reversible if hearing loss is treated early. Seeking treatment, which usually involves the use of hearing aids, can increase the stimulation in the brain and cause the brain cells to re-grow!

Seeking help at an early stage is vital to reduce your risk of developing dementia, and it could be as simple as a visit to your doctor or audiologist. Sometimes, hearing loss can even be the result of excess ear wax, so it's very important to explore your options as soon as you can.

Are You Worried About Hearing Aids?

Many people put off seeking help when they begin to experience hearing loss, and this can be due to anxiety about wearing hearing aids. Hearing aid technology, however, makes today's digital hearing aids tiny, discreet and highly sophisticated, so that some are completely unnoticeable.

A visit to the audiologist can be a daunting prospect, but here at Hidden Hearing we are proud of our reputation as a friendly, knowledgeable hearing centre and we will be pleased to guide you through the process. Even if you do not think you have a hearing loss, it can be a great idea to have a hearing check up in order to create a baseline hearing level that will be used to monitor how your hearing changes in the future.

Take a Free Hearing Test at Hidden Hearing

Visit us at Hidden Hearing for a free hearing check-up and try our range of excellent digital hearing aids. Our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics, so we’re sure to have a location near you. Simply call us or pop in to make an appointment, and let us help you to find the best hearing solution for you and your lifestyle.