Treating hearing loss can prevent a third of dementia cases

on Jun 27, 2019

Hearing loss is one of nine modifiable lifestyle factors for dementia

In a study published in The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, it was written 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 lifestyle factors at various points in their life plays a huge role in whether that individual will be affected by dementia. 

For hearing loss, the recommendation is to manage it in midlife (between age 40-65), before it has a chance to negatively impact cognitive skills. The study concludes that if these nine lifestyle factors are managed properly or eliminated, it “might prevent more than a third of cases of dementia.”

Why hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia

The Lancet Commission 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, leads to social isolation and depression, and accelerates brain atrophy — all of which are likely contributing factors.

The new hearing aid – Livio 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 your 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. The good news is that now there is research pointing 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 research gives you a great reason to do something about it as soon as you can.

At ihear, we can help. Call 1800 015 227 or find your closest ihear clinic to speak to an ihear hearing expert.

Author: ihear Australia