Studies conducted over the past few years show evidence of a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia.
Both particularly affect the older generation. Most people with dementia are over 70 and almost 75% of people over 70 have hearing loss.
A study in Taiwan concluded that hearing loss is positively associated with a risk of dementia, especially in people aged 45-64.
And a French study found an increased risk of dementia in those with hearing loss and – in men only – an increased risk of depression. Importantly, these findings were not seen in those using hearing aids.
Strong evidence is emerging that mild hearing loss doubles the risk of developing dementia. Moderate hearing loss can lead to three times the risk and severe hearing loss five times the risk. Hearing loss can be misdiagnosed as dementia or make the symptoms of dementia appear worse.
It shows how important it is to treat hearing loss so we can stay connected.
Our senior audiologist Sandra Rodrigues has been looking at the links between hearing loss and dementia and has written a white paper on the subject which you can read here.