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Treating Hearing Loss Can Prevent a Third of Dementia Cases

Hearing loss is one of nine modifiable lifestyle factors for dementia

In a recently published study, researchers concluded that “dementia is by no means an inevitable consequence” of aging. However, they suggest that nine modifiable “lifestyle factors might reduce, or increase, an individual’s risk of developing dementia.” Ranked from highest risk to lowest, those modifiable lifestyle factors are:

  1. Hearing loss
  2. Childhood education
  3. Smoking
  4. Depression
  5. Physical inactivity
  6. Social isolation
  7. Hypertension 
  8. Obesity
  9. Diabetes

A third of dementia cases might be preventable

According to the study, how an individual manages these nine factors at various points in their life plays a huge role in whether that individual will be affected by dementia. For hearing loss, they recommend managing it between ages 40-65 before it has a chance to negatively impact cognitive skills. The study concludes that if these nine factors are managed properly or eliminated, it “might prevent more than a third of dementia cases.”

Why hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia

Researchers admitted that the science isn’t yet unanimous on why untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia. But research has confirmed that hearing loss adds to the cognitive load of the brain. This leads to social isolation and depression, and accelerates brain atrophy — all of which are likely contributing factors.

The new hearing aid, Livio Edge AI, is specifically designed to help people manage their hearing loss and achieve good cognitive health. In addition to being Starkey’s best sounding and best performing hearing aids ever, they’re the first wearable device that helps track brain and body activity.

To help prevent dementia later in life, be proactive now

Having dementia is a real worry for older adults and for the people who care for them. There is good news however. Research points to ways you can “reduce the incidence of dementia or substantially delay its onset”. And nearly all the factors stated are within your control. Hearing loss is absolutely something you can manage with the help of an experienced hearing professional. If you have hearing loss, this is another great reason to do something about it as soon as you can.

At ihear, we can help. Call 1300 855 271 or find your closest ihear clinic to speak to an ihear hearing expert.