A link to memory loss and loss of hearing

Do older adults with hearing loss have a higher likelihood of experiencing memory loss, like dementia?  

A report published in the Geriatrics and Gerontology International Journal suggests that hearing loss and memory loss are linked.  Dr. Annette Hurley-Larmieu, LSU Health Audiology says the theory is that reduced auditory input can lead to brain changes which accompany hearing loss. 

"So there is a correlation of socialized isolation, lack of activity that leads to memory loss and then further leads to dementia," Hurley-Larmieu said. 

Study also cites reduced social activity and psychological stress

Hurley-Larmieu says one solution to reduce the risk is a hearing aid. 

There have been studies that also show  people that get help for their hearing, not to bring the hearing back but have hearing aids, decrease their risk for dementia, so getting hearing aids to help with that," Hurley-Larmieu noted.    

The report also found that 28.9 percent of those with hearing loss had a higher level of limited outside activity, such as shopping or travel, compared with 9.5 percent of those without hearing loss.