Does Hearing Loss Cause Dementia?

I’ve heard hearing loss can cause dementia — is this true?

Answer:

We’ve been hearing this question quite a bit recently due to a study published in January that’s been in the news.

The simple answer is: maybe. The findings reported by a researcher at Johns Hopkins University showed that in a group of almost 2,000 older adults (with an average age of 77), cognitive difficulties developed more quickly in people with hearing loss than in those with normal hearing.

Whether the hearing loss was a direct contributing factor to the early onset of symptoms related to dementia is not certain at this point. However, the researcher responsible for the study, Frank Lin, has pointed out that social isolation is itself a risk factor for dementia. And as we have seen all too well, social isolation is often an unfortunate effect of hearing loss—one that fortunately can be assisted greatly with expertly fit, well-adjusted hearing aids.

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Janis Gasch
Janis Gasch