Hearing loss can worsen dementia symptoms

Link between hearing loss and dementia

Hearing loss in old age is more than just an inconvenience. Some people gradually break away from their social relationships because it can be frustrating and embarrassing not to be able to hear. In addition, hearing loss can trigger a number of health problems and worsen dementia symptoms.

With hearing loss, many people think that this is "one of those things that happen when we get older," explains Dr. Colin Driscoll, an ear, nose and throat doctor at the renowned Mayo Clinic (USA) in a recent article. But he points out that hearing loss can cause a number of health problems, including worsening of dementia symptoms.

Most hearing loss can be remedied

“If you have hearing loss, focus more and more on your cognitive ability and try to understand what has been said. My brain works overtime to sort the words and understand the sentences, ”explains Dr. Driscoll.

So if all of the energy is used to "do the simple job of listening and understanding language, it is not available for my other activities. This doesn't cause Alzheimer's disease or structural dementia, but it does change your cognitive abilities, ”the doctor said.

According to the otolaryngologist, most hearing loss can be remedied with hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Improving hearing reduces health risks

“There is evidence that improving hearing improves cognition and that there may be more important relationships. We know that improving hearing reduces the risk of social isolation and depression - which we know are related to falls, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, ”says Dr. Driscoll.

Improve quality of life and health

This is also confirmed by scientific studies. A few months ago, researchers from the University of Michigan reported in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society about a study that suggested that hearing aids could protect older people from dementia, depression, and falls.

The researchers found that the relative risk of diagnosing dementia among participants wearing hearing aids was reduced by 18 percent, the relative risk of depression or anxiety was reduced by 11 percent, and the relative risk of falling injuries decreased by 13 percent.

A simple hearing test followed by appropriate interventions can improve your quality of life and health, the Mayo Clinic article concludes. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic Minute: The hearing loss and dementia connection, (accessed: November 10, 2019), Mayo Clinic
  • Journal of American Geriatrics Society: Can Hearing Aids Delay Time to Diagnosis of Dementia, Depression, or Falls in Older Adults ?, (accessed: November 10, 2019), Journal of American Geriatrics Society

Video: How Hearing Loss and Dementia are Related (December 2021).