It is not a new idea that wearing hearing aids could cut your risk of developing dementia. We’ve previously even discussed it here…
Can wearing hearing aids reduce the risk of developing dementia?
A new, large, decade-long study has now been published which suggests that tackling hearing loss early could mean that your risk of developing dementia reduces to that of someone with no hearing loss! Dementia is one of the world’s biggest health threats. The number of people living with dementia is set to triple by 2050 to over 150 million people worldwide. Health and social care systems will be put under a huge amount of pressure if these figures continue to rise.
The new study was published in The Lancet public health journal. This is the first study that provides evidence to suggest that by tackling hearing loss as early as possible and prescribing hearing aids, the risk of developing dementia could be drastically reduced.
Untreated hearing loss does increase the risk of dementia
The study looked at over 400,000 people and their average age was 56. Subsequently, they found that those with hearing loss who decided not to wear hearing aids had their risk of developing dementia increase by up to 42%. The people who wore hearing aids had no increased risk at all. Researchers went on to state that this is equivalent to a 1.7% risk of dementia in those with hearing loss and no hearing aids. Those with no hearing loss or using hearing aids had a reduced risk of 1.2%.
Surprisingly, approximately four-fifths of people with hearing loss do not wear hearing aids in the UK. There are many factors which contribute to this statistic such as accessibility, cost, stigma, denial and a lack of awareness. What these new findings show us more clearly than ever is that early intervention of hearing loss is pivotal in protecting the individual against the risk of developing dementia. Hearing loss may begin in a person’s 40’s but remain untreated for the next 20-25 years. This could result in a gradual cognitive decline. Most likely, this would go unnoticeable for a very long time, before a dementia diagnosis is given.
Get your hearing tested regularly!
If you believe you are suffering with a hearing loss, it is important to get an appointment with an Audiologist. You can then start treatment, such as hearing aids, as soon as possible if necessary. We can offer hearing consultations in our beautiful clinics. We will advise you of the best course of action for your individual hearing loss, such as hearing aids.
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