hearing loss and dementia Did you know your brain may be shrinking?


A study at John Hopkins University tracked changes in the brains of 126 people over 10 years. Each participant also completed a physical exam and a hearing test at the time of the first MRI. The starting results revealed 75 people with normal hearing, and 51 people with impaired hearing of at least a 25-decibel loss.


After analyzing a decade’s worth of results, the MRI results revealed:

  • At the start of the study, hearing impaired participants had accelerated rates of brain tissue loss when compared to participants with normal hearing.
  • Those with impaired hearing lost more than one additional cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year when compared to participants with normal hearing.
  • The impaired hearing group also had significantly more shrinkage in particular regions, including the brain structures responsible for processing sound and speech.

Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and cognitive overload, which may eventually cause dementia. Studies have shown that seniors with hearing loss are found to display cognitive decline 3 years sooner than their peers without hearing loss. 

When To Seek Treatment

The simplest way to prevent health complications linked to hearing loss is to seek treatment right away if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
  • It’s difficult for you to follow conversations involving multiple people.
  • You are increasing the volume of television or radio more frequently.
  • You experience difficulty hearing during phone conversations.
  • You have trouble hearing in noisy places, such as grocery stores or restaurants.

How Hearing Aids Can Help

By adding hearing aids and assistive listening devices to an overall wellness plan, a patient can improve their retention of information. By treating hearing loss, you can stay connected to loved ones effectively, and longer.

Early intervention is important for treating hearing loss. If you or a loved one are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, schedule a hearing exam with one of our qualified professionals today.