Hearing Aids and Dementia
What is the connection between hearing aids and dementia?
There has been a lot or recent media attention on the link between dementia and people with a hearing loss.
More specifically, attention has focused on how some dementia cases could be prevented with “hearing loss prevention”. Hearing aids in other words.
The Lancet reports that hearing impairment is the most prominent risk factor for dementia—midlife hearing loss accounts for approximately 9% of dementia cases. You can read the full report here.
Currently research into why and how these conditions are linked is ongoing, scientists are suggesting that neuronal mechanisms related to hearing loss can play a role in and exacerbate dementia pathology—and vice versa.
Or, in plain words, in cases where dementia patients also have hearing loss, the science isn’t definitive on whether dementia exacerbates hearing loss or hearing loss can directly lead to dementia. However, there does seem to be a clear relationship between auditory processing and global cognitive function in such cases.
Why could this be happening?
When you’re struggling to hear a noise, such as a conversation among your family members in a loud restaurant, your brain is forced to allocate more cognitive resources to help you hear better. This means that noisy or distracting environments can often make it much harder to process auditory stimuli. Over time, the strain on these cognitive functions can contribute to dementia pathology.
What to do
Click Hearing audiologists are well positioned to offer you the best advice on how to manage all types of hearing loss, whether you are an existing hearing aid user or feel that you need to get your hearing professional assessed.
Call us on 01245 905 678 or 01708 259 863 and we’ll book you in for a hearing aid fitting. Alternatively use our contact form here to contact us by email.
To find our more about the different types of hearing aids available click here
For further reading
The RNID are funding vital research into the link of hearing loss and dementia and offer more detail on the issue which you can read here.
The Alzheimer’s society offers a more broader insight into the condition and have also created a research project. Click here for more information.
Dementia UK have a great resource on ways to identify the issue along with ways to help and a good place to start is right here.