Link Between Hearing Loss & Dementia

Researchers have three main theories about why there is a link between hearing loss and dementia.  The first is social isolation, notable because isolation has already been proven to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.  Studies by John Cacioppo, a professor at the University of Chicago, on the effect of isolation on health have shown that “perceived isolation” may have a greater effect than actual objective isolation on your health.

The second is cognitive load:  The effect of your brain trying to understand and translate sounds may deplete brain power needed elsewhere, such as for memory.

Third, there ay be a pathological link between hearing loss and dementia, a genetic or enviromental factor that leads to both conditions.

The hope is that treated hearing loss-which can help decrease isolation as well as cognitive load-may help prevent cognitive decline.

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