Hearing Loss and Dementia
  • Oct 1, 2015

Hearing Loss and Dementia

Updated August 2023

"Hearing loss is independently associated with incidental-cause dementia. Whether hearing loss is a marker for early-stage dementia or is actually a modifiable risk factor for dementia deserves further study."

from: Hearing Loss and Incident Dementia
Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD; E. Jeffrey Metter, MD; Richard J. O’Brien, MD, PhD;
Susan M. Resnick, PhD; Alan B. Zonderman, PhD; Luigi Ferrucci, MD, PhD

Memory Loss

There are also some very interesting studies into the effects hearing aids have on age outcomes-:

"Studying Multiple Outcomes after Aural Rehabilitative Treatment (SMART) is a research study being done to learn how the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants impacts the lives of adults with hearing loss."

Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia - Article

Hearing Loss Linked to Dementiaread full article

"cognitive load" - the mental effort required for recognising or understanding sounds and language.

"If you put in a lot of effort just to comprehend what you're hearing, it takes resources that would otherwise be available for encoding [what you hear] in memory," says Arthur Wingfield, professor of neuroscience at Brandeis University

"hearing loss may affect brain structure in a way that contributes to cognitive problems"

July 2018 ABC Life Matters: This is how dementia sounds

"For some people the noise generated in social places is so overwhelming they have to flee."

ABC full program

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia

Financial Review: When you think hearing loss, think brain loss

"Although it is difficult for some to accept, studies have shown that people with hearing loss lose cognitive function much faster than those without it"

The article discusses the processing of sound is important. Many audiologists have clients who hear the tones but fail to understand speech well.

Hearing Loss Australian Men Wait 7 10 Years

"But in Australia, the average man diagnosed with hearing loss will take between seven and 10 years to act on it."

Read full article

Related: Achieve Trial 2018-2021

Achieve Trial

April 2021: Having both hearing and vision loss may double risk of dementia

Source: American Academy of Neurology

"Dementia was more than twice as common in the group with both impairments at the beginning of the study"


The test evaluated people's thinking and memory skills included recall and recognition was conducted every 2 years for 6 years.

Of the 245 people who developed dementia in the 6 year follow-up period 146 (out of 1964) were people with both impairments, compared to 69 (out of 2,396) with one impairment and 14 of the 737 people with no impairments.

"...researchers found that the group with both hearing and seeing impairment were twice as likely to develop dementia than the group with normal sensory function."


See full publication article Having both hearing and vision loss may double risk of dementia


Saving Australia's Minds

Dementia Hearing Loss Statistics

"Dementia is now the second leading cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of death among women."

HCIA white paper March 2021

A study in the United Kingdom (UK) found that-:

"hearing loss had a negative association with cognition; however, this association was observed only in the individuals with untreated hearing loss."



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