Association Between Alzheimer’s Disease & Hearing Health

According to the Better Hearing Institute, older adults with hearing loss also appear more likely to develop dementia. As hearing loss becomes more severe, their risk increases. Researchers who conducted a study published in the Archives of Neurology found that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s particularly increased with hearing loss.

“There is strong evidence that hearing impairment contributes to the progression of cognitive dysfunction in older adults,” says Sergei Kochkin, PhD, Better Hearing Institute’s Executive Director. “Unmanaged hearing loss can interrupt the cognitive processing of spoken language and sound, exhaust cognitive reserve, and lead to social isolation—regardless of other coexisting conditions. But when an individual has both Alzheimer’s and hearing loss, many of the symptoms of hearing loss can interact with those common to Alzheimer’s, making the disease more difficult than it might be if the hearing loss had been addressed.”

Research has also shown that using hearing aids in addition to other appropriate rehabilitation treatments can help reduce symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

“A comprehensive hearing assessment should be part of any Alzheimer’s diagnosis and any hearing loss should be addressed,” says Kochkin. “Most hearing loss can be managed with hearing aids. By addressing hearing loss, we can help improve quality-of-life for people with Alzheimer’s so they can live as fully as possible. These individual’s—and their families and caregivers—face many challenges. Untreated hearing loss shouldn’t have to be one of them.”

If you would like to schedule an appointment at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute to discuss your hearing health, please call 904-399-0350.