Hearing Loss & Dementia

  Posted January 30, 2019

Over the last few years, there is growing evidence of a link between dementia/cognition and hearing loss. Hearing loss and dementia are linked with ageing and often occur together as we get older. The majority of people with dementia are over 70 and nearly three quarters of people over 70 have hearing loss. There is strong evidence that mild hearing loss doubles the risk of developing dementia, with moderate hearing loss leading to three times the risk, and severe hearing loss five times the risk. Hearing loss can be misdiagnosed as dementia or make the symptoms of dementia appear worse.

Common symptoms of hearing loss:

  • Difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in group situations
  • Asking people to repeat themselves and/or speak more slowly
  • Having the volume for music/TV higher than other people need
  • Difficulty hearing the phone/doorbell
  • Finding it difficult to tell which direction noise is coming from
  • Often feeling tired or stressed, from having to concentrate while listening.
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