DOES HEARING LOSS AFFECT BRAIN FUNCTION?

If you are an older adult who has resisted the need to avail yourself of a hearing instrument that could help you overcome your hearing loss, you may have more to lose than a few snippets of conversation.  Recent research shows that older adults with even mild to moderate hearing loss may experience cognitive decline about 41 percent faster than those with normal hearing.  This translates into undergoing a decline in brain function about three years sooner than would otherwise be the case.  While no direct link between hearing loss and cognitive decline has been established, it is thought that hearing loss leads to social isolation and loneliness, which are also associated with cognitive decline.