Hearing Blog

Dementia and Hearing Loss: There May Be a Link

March 1, 2017

Growing evidence indicates that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia. Hearing aids can improve the negative effects of hearing loss on the brain.

Your hearing and your brain

Think of hearing as a partnership between your ears and your brain. When someone speaks, your brain processes the sounds so that you can understand them. That’s called cognitive load.

When you have untreated hearing loss, the speech signals coming in to your brain are degraded, so your brain has to work much hard to process them.  When more brain resources are used for understanding sounds, other brain tasks such as memory and comprehension can suffer. Cognitive decline often results.

Effects of untreated hearing loss

Hearing loss isn’t just an ear issue, it’s a quality of life and health issue.  Untreated hearing loss can have serious and wide-ranging consequences:

  • Increased mental fatigue/stress
  • Poorer memory
  • Difficulty with attention focusing
  • Poorer mental health
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Hearing aids can lessen the cognitive load on your brain as well as help improve feelings of isolation and depression.

Hearing aids can help

Hearing aids process sound signals so it’s easier for your brain to understand them. They also reduce the cognitive load, making it easier for your brain to perform other tasks. Benefits of wearing hearing aids may include:

  • Reduced mental fatigue
  • Decreased feelings of isolation and depression
  • Improved ability to do several things at once
  • Improved memory, attention and focus
  • Improved communication skills

Contact us for a hearing evaluation

We know how important your hearing is and strive to offer the best hearing instruments available and the most personal care possible. 

If you or someone you love is concerned about hearing loss, please contact us for a hearing evaluation. 



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