July 20, 2017

Hearing Loss in Middle Age and Dementia

Is there a connection between hearing loss in middle age and dementia?

“Potentially it (hearing loss) is something you can do something about, which I think makes it really important to understand better.” Clive Ballard, professor of age-related disease at the University of Exeter.

Audiologists are continually presented evidence from ongoing research indicating the link between cognitive change in adults and hearing loss. There is some conflicting data at the moment and more research is certainly needed in this area so we can understand what is really going on. In some quarters, this information is presented to convince people that hearing aids will halt memory loss as we age.

We don’t agree with hearing companies marketing hearing aids in this way using fear as a tactic. All we can say for certain is that people whose hearing range has altered could be at greater risk of memory and thinking problems later in life than those without auditory issues.

This article highlights some of the latest studies but with researchers still discussing the correlation and underlying mechanisms we recommend hearing should be checked throughout life and if change is recorded should be addressed as soon as possible rather than wait for the researchers to explain where the associated risks lie.

Guardian Article