The link between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s – and what you can do about it

Published 14 September 2022  | Updated 16 May 2024  | 3 mins read

Couple reading a magazine

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, an illness that can lead to memory loss, and affect other cognitive abilities – in turn impacting everyday life. And considering the link between hearing loss and dementia, The Hearing Care Partnership fully supports the Alzheimer’s Society in their work and research.

A greater risk of dementia

According to the RNID, research shows that the more severe an untreated hearing loss, the more at risk you are of developing dementia.

If you have…

  • Mild hearing loss = you have 2x the risk of dementia
  • Moderate hearing loss = you have 3x the risk of dementia
  • Severe hearing loss = you have 5x the risk of dementia

Can this risk be prevented or reversed?

Taken on face value, these figures are very worrying. Many of us have mild hearing loss or worse. But there is good news. A review by medical journal, the Lancet, found that hearing loss is a modifiable factor for dementia – meaning changes can be made to reduce your risk of developing the illness.

Evidence shows that by diagnosing hearing loss earlier in mid-life, we can decrease the risk of developing dementia later on.

Other key risk factors for dementia

High on the list of risk factors for dementia are also depression and social isolation. Sadly, many who develop hearing loss can begin to withdraw from socialising due to having difficulties with conversations and not being able to keep up with others because of hearing problems. This can develop into loneliness, which can then easily lead to depression.

So, addressing hearing loss can prevent these risk factors for dementia too.

How hearing aids can help

Hearing aids not only improve your hearing – making it easier to socialise with friends and family, and lead a healthy life at full volume. They also ensure the auditory cortex of your brain stays active.

Lack of brain activity is another key cause of dementia. So, the more active you can keep your brain and the auditory cortex, the better it is for your future health.

Book an appointment

If you’ve noticed any changes in your hearing, or are concerned about hereditary hearing loss, The Hearing Care Partnership is here for you with our free hearing assessment.

Whether you have concerns about your hearing or would just like a hearing health check, addressing hearing issues now will have a significant impact on your health and quality of life from now on – significantly reducing your risk of dementia.

Call us on 0800 52 00 546 to speak to one of our friendly audiology team, book an appointment online, or visit your local practice.