Hearing Loss and Dementia: Who’s Listening?
Nearly all of us will lose some hearing as we get older, and as a result hearing loss is often perceived as being an unfortunate but relatively inconsequential part of aging. However, the broader implications of hearing loss on our cognitive and thinking abilities are now surfacing in research studies. I will discuss the evidence through which hearing loss has been linked with faster rates of brain atrophy and a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. Importantly, I will discuss the broader implications of these findings for efforts to address the public health crisis that rising rates of dementia now pose to societies around the world.