“Brain scans show us that hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain,” added Johns Hopkins expert Frank Li.
It may also harm cognitive health by contributing to social isolation, which is a well-established risk factor for brain decline.
This is because individuals who spend a great portion of their time socially isolated have lower brain volume in the regions associated with learning and thinking.
“You may not want to be with people as much, and when you are you may not engage in conversations as much. These factors may contribute to dementia,” explained Li.
How common is hearing loss in the UK?
In the UK, more than 40 percent of people over the age of 50 have hearing loss, but the number rises to more than 70 percent of people over the age of 70.