There is a direct and serious correlation between hearing health and mental health. The brain functions similar to a muscle: when it isn’t being used enough, it begins to atrophy and deteriorate.
Even a mild loss contributes to cognitive decline faster than in those without hearing loss. Studies have shown that those with mild hearing loss have a 200% greater risk of developing dementia, while those with severe hearing loss had a 500% greater risk, as compared to individuals without hearing loss.
The same negative effects and risk factors apply to both “otherwise healthy young adults” as well as older adults with mild hearing loss. This is concerning for future generations; the World Health Organization estimates that 1,100,000,000 are currently at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss.
People can often be unaware they have hearing loss, leading it to go undiagnosed and untreated until it becomes a larger or more serious problem.
To review more science-based articles, just click on any of the following links:
- Depression and Hearing Impairment in Adults Research. View Medical Research article
- Hearing Loss and Dementia Linked in Study. View Johns Hopkins Medicine Report
- How does the brain respond to hearing loss? View Hearing Journal article
- Canadian Health Measure Survey: Hearing loss of Canadians, 2012 and 2013. View Statistics Canada Report
- Hearing Aids may help slow cognitive decline. View Healthy Hearing article