Hearing loss and dementia
Addressing hearing loss can play a major role in preventing dementia an international study has found.
Mid life hearing loss tops nine risk factors that contribute to the risk of dementia.
A Lancet report shows that almost a quarter of the risk that individuals can manage for themselves is linked to hearing. For the first time they raise the importance of addressing this in middle age – not when it has been left untreated to later life and the damage has already been done.
The study says hearing loss can deny people a cognitively rich environment and lead to social isolation and depression, which are among the other potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia.
This report has put the spotlight on the crucial importance for addressing hearing loss at a much earlier age – between 45 and 65. This is much earlier than most discussions have centred on in the past.
The Lancet commission on dementia is the latest, and perhaps the most definitive, of a growing body of evidence pointing to an important truth: the risk of dementia can be significantly reduced if people take good care of their hearing.