“Adults with hearing loss have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders
Individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss are up to 5 times as likely to develop dementia
According to several major studies, older adults with hearing loss—especially men— are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, compared to those with normal hearing. Men with hearing loss were 69 percent more likely to develop dementia than those with no hearing impairment.
The risk escalates as a person’s hearing loss worsens. Those with mild hearing impairment are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those with normal hearing. The risk increases three-fold for those with moderate hearing loss, and five-fold for those with severe impairment.
Professor Helene Amieva followed 3,777 participants aged over 65 for up to 25 years. Of these, 1,289 reported hearing problems and 2,290 reported no trouble. The researchers also looked at the impact of hearing loss on depression, disability and death.
The study found an increased risk of disability and dementia in those with hearing loss, and, in men only, an increased risk of depression. These associations were not found in the participants using hearing aids.
Dr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Society was asked to comment on this study.
“By following people over 65 with and without hearing problems for up to 25 years, researchers found that those with hearing problems were more likely to develop dementia.
“Although this type of study cannot tell us whether using hearing aids would help to bring the risk of dementia back down, it does hint that this might be the case”
Today’s hearing instruments bear no resemblance to those of yesterday. They’re petite, discreet, light weight and reliable. Which means that hardly anyone will notice you’re wearing them.
Audiologist Debbie Bedford from My Hearing holds an Audiology Clinic at Jacksons every Friday.
Why not book a complementary hearing assessment with her? Taking only about an hour and being completely painless, we recommend all of our patients to undergo regular routine hearing checks.