Age related hearing loss and cognitive impairment - a current perspective

Santosh K. Swain


Age related hearing loss (ARHL) is one of the commonest health conditions of the elderly people which have an important relation with the cognition. Long standing hearing deprivation leads to decline of the cognitive performance. This has impact on quality of communication and result in social isolation, depression and enhances the dementia. Cognitive decline may be misdiagnosed or over-diagnosed when the sensory abilities of the patients are not properly evaluated. Adequate intervention by use of hearing aid or cochlear implant improves the communication, cognitive function, social, emotion function and positively impact on the quality of life. With rise of the elderly population and concomitant increase of ARHL with associated cognitive impairment, it is imperative to discuss this morbid clinical entity in present scenario. Cognitive decline in elderly age have a profound impact on the affected person, on caregivers and society. The financial costs for cognitive impairment in ARHL are also major source of concern for the society. In this review article, we focus on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, hypotheses of etiological mechanisms between the ARHL and cognitive decline or impairment, impact of cognitive impairment on quality of life and prevention.


Age related hearing loss, Cognitive impairment, Dementia, Social isolation

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