Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Apr;63(4):145-153. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2020.00192.

Association of Age-Related Hearing Losswith Cognitive Decline

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Iksan, Korea


A number of studies have demonstrated a significant association between age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and cognitive decline. However their relationship is not clear. In this review, we focused on the etiological mechanisms between ARHL and cognitive decline to explain the nature of this relationship: 1) causal mechanisms (e.g., cognitive load hypothesis, cascade hypothesis); 2) common cause mechanisms (e.g., microvascular disease); 3) overdiagnosis or harbinger hypothesis. We conclude that no single mechanism is sufficient and hearing and cognition related to each other in several different ways. In addition, we reviewed the effectiveness of hearing intervention (e.g., hearing aids and cochlear implants) on cognition function, and the role of hearing aid use and cochlear implant depends on the relevant mechanism.


Cognition; Hearing aids; Hearing loss; Hypothesis; Relationship
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