Hearing and dementia
Dealing with hearing loss can cause the brain to work over time. If you’re straining to hear someone or reading peoples’ lips as they speak, you’ll be working extra hard to keep up with the conversation compared to someone with no hearing loss. This can make social interactions much more difficult and tiring.
Recent research shows that hearing loss is linked to social isolation and feelings of loneliness. We strongly believe that hearing loss shouldn't prevent you from spending time with loved ones and we are working to make better hearing care accessible for all. By taking care of your hearing health you can increase your social engagement and potentially reduce your risk of developing dementia.
Are hearing loss and dementia related?
Yes. Hearing loss is correlated with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. In fact, research shows that even mild hearing loss doubles your risk of dementia, while moderate hearing loss triples the risk, and severe hearing loss can increase the risk up to five times. To reduce the risks of hearing loss and dementia, it is important to look after your hearing and health and treat even mild hearing difficulties.
The Alzheimer’s Society suggests the following ways to support someone with hearing loss and dementia:
Ensuring regular hearing health checks
Wearing hearing aids and treating the hearing loss as directed by an audiologist
Learning to communicate with visual cues, prompts, gestures and expressions
If you’re worried about your hearing or memory, contact your healthcare provider and ask to see a GP or to be referred to an audiologist.