A study published by the American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP, found a noticeable link between hearing loss and memory loss in older adults. According to the results, people with hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia then those without hearing loss.
Of the 639 people observed, 58 were diagnosed with dementia and 37 with Alzheimer’s after a 12 year period. Those over the age of 60 had a 36.4% risk of dementia that was directly attributable to hearing loss. For every 10 decibels lost the chances of memory loss increased by 20%.
It is believed that the link between these two issues is caused by the strain of trying to understand others when you have hearing loss. The brain must work extra hard to interpret what is being heard, especially in loud situations. This leaves the individual feeling drained and can often lead to social isolation and depression.
Taking the proper steps to prevent and treat hearing loss can lead to a significant decrease in the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Hearing aids can relieve the stress put on the brain by making it easier to understand people in conversation.
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