Image shoes man and brain showing the connection between dementia and hearing loss

Dementia and hearing loss

Hearing aids may help protect against cognitive decline according to Lancet report

A new report published by the Lancet Commission shows that hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor against dementia. In fact, moderate hearing impairment can increase one's risk of dementia by threefold.1,8 This is due to the fact that hearing loss leads to lowered mental stimulation, isolation, and, ultimately, cognitive decline. Fortunately, hearing aids have been shown to protect against cognitive decline by keeping the brain actively engaged in everyday life.

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The surprising link between hearing loss and dementia

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Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia⁶
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Half of people don’t know the risk factors for dementia⁹
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Individuals with moderate hearing loss have triple the risk of dementia¹
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If all hearing loss was treated, nearly 1 in 10 cases of dementia could be eliminated²

There are ways to reduce the risk of dementia

The 2020 Report by the Lancet Commission entitled: Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care was released on July 30th, 2020. The latest research states that modifying 12 risk factors from childhood to late life could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases. These lifestyle factors can be adjusted in order to reduce one’s risk for developing dementia. The 12 modifiable risk factors2 identified by the Lancet Commission are:

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According to the study, of these 12 risk factors, untreated hearing loss in midlife remains the largest modifiable risk factor of dementia. Additionally, dementia risk varies based on level of hearing loss.

  • Mild hearing loss doubles the risk of dementia
  • Moderate hearing loss triples the risk
  • Severe hearing impairment increases dementia risk of up to 5 times that of those who do not have hearing impairment1,8

The recent study by the Lancet Commission also cites that “hearing loss might result in cognitive decline through reduced cognitive stimulation”.2 The study further recommends the use of hearing aids, in those with hearing loss, as a way to protect against cognitive decline.2

If you suspect that you or a loved one might have hearing loss, take HearingLife's online hearing test.

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How hearing aids may help support your brain

Hearing aids support your brain function by helping you to process the sounds which stimulate brain. Beyond basic brain function, keeping your brain active can help you in other ways.

When you have hearing loss, it takes extra effort to keep up with conversations. This can lead to avoiding social situations and enhance feelings of isolation. By increasing the ability to understand conversations, hearing aids help to keep you connected to the world around you so that you can confidently participate in social gatherings and other activities. This is just one of many benefits of better hearing.

Hearing aids help to keep you connected to the world around you, so that you can confidently participate in social gatherings and activities with friends and loved ones.

HearingLife's hearing care experts recommend hearing aids as a means of maintaining an active lifestyle — thereby contributing to a healthy brain and possibly lowering one’s risk for developing dementia. Our professionals encourage you to learn more about hearing loss and dementia.

Do you want to try a pair of hearing aids? HearingLife lets you try hearing aids risk-free.

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