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Is Central Hearing Loss Linked To Cognitive Decline?

Central hearing loss is caused by disorders in the brainstem or brain and is commonly associated with learning disabilities, mainly Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Those who suffer from CAPD can experience the inability to read or study with background noise or listen when multiple conversations are happening at once, and other similar issues.

CAPD is growing in patients with presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss. Someone with CAPD but is not affected by hearing loss will essentially run into the issue of their brain not “hearing” even when their ears work fine. The problem is their brain is not able to process and correctly comprehend the words or sounds their ears are hearing. On the other hand, someone experiencing both CAPD and presbycusis has added difficulties because they face difficulty hearing sounds and also processing the things they can hear.

Studies by researchers in Italy focused on participants with peripheral and central, age-related hearing loss. The study showed that 75% of participants who had central, age-related hearing loss had Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which falls between the normal cognitive decline of aging and dementia. Whereas, only 60% of participants with peripheral hearing loss, or no hearing loss, had MCI.     

According to, the lead author of the study, Rodolfo Sardone of the National Institute of Health and University of Bari, pointed out that “Preventing hearing impairment with hearing aids early could greatly reduce or delay the onset of cognitive neurodegeneration.” If you are or someone you know has been diagnosed with CAPD and is experiencing signs of age-related hearing loss, contact New Generation Hearing Centers today for a free consultation.