It’s common to lose hearing or vision as you age. However, a study published in the journal Neurology in April 2021 found that losing both senses doubles your risk of developing dementia.
Researchers studied 6,520 people ages 58 to 101. At the beginning of the study, 932 participants had normal hearing and vision, 2,957 had either hearing or vision loss and 2,631 had both hearing and vision loss. Dementia was more than twice as common in the group with both impairments (8%) than those with hearing or vision loss (2.4%) or neither (2.3%).
Every two years, for six years, researchers tested thinking and memory skills. The six-year follow-up revealed that of the 245 people who developed dementia, 146 of the 1,964 people with both impairments developed dementia compared to 69 of the 2,396 people with one impairment and 14 of the 737 with no impairment.
These results revealed that those with both hearing and vision loss were twice as likely to develop dementia than the other groups. The study author, JinHyeong Jhoo, M.D., Ph.D., reasoned that seniors with one impairment can still maintain social contacts, but those with both impairments became isolated and depressed, which other studies have shown may affect dementia.
Concerned about your hearing? Make an appointment with Arizona Hearing Specialists today—520-448-2895.