This month is World Alzheimer’s Month and we are supporting Alzheimer’s Disease International in raising awareness about the disease and the surprising link between hearing loss and dementia.
World Alzheimer's Month is an international campaign that runs every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. September 2020 will mark the 9th World Alzheimer's Month and was launched in 2012. Furthermore, World Alzheimer's Day is on the 21st of September each year.
Just 34% of people think it’s possible to reduce the risk of dementia , highlighting the need for greater awareness of the positive steps that can be made7.
Previous studies have shown the link between hearing loss and dementia, but new research shows that wearing hearing aids can protect you from cognitive decline.
The Lancet published a new study on July 30, 2020 which shows that hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor against dementia.
Dementia risk varies based on level of hearing loss
Mild hearing loss doubles the dementia risk
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 impairment
The recent Lancet study presents that “hearing loss might result in cognitive decline through reduced cognitive stimulation”, and the Lancet therefore “[encourages the] use of hearing aids for hearing loss”.
By being proactive and treating hearing loss as soon as possible, the risk for cognitive decline and dementia can be reduced.1,2,3,4
12 lifestyle factors for preventing dementia
In addition to hearing loss, there are 11 other lifestyle factors which can be adjusted in order to delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases1.
The 12 lifestyle factors are1:
Hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor
In the case of hearing loss, if all hearing loss was optimally treated, nearly one in 10 cases of dementia could be eliminated.
Another study notes that “hearing impairment is associated with a 30-40% rate of cognitive decline.3” By treating hearing loss with hearing aids, your brain stays mentally stimulated, meaning that you protect your brain from the risk of cognitive decline. Hearing aids are a gateway to communication and can help facilitate a healthy and active lifestyle through all stages of life – and especially in mid to later stages of life where the risk for dementia increases.1
Dementia and hearing loss are global issues
Globally, there are around 466 million people with hearing loss and about 50 million people with dementia. Given that the two conditions are linked, treating hearing loss worldwide could be one way to lower the risk of dementia for people worldwide.5,6
How can you treat your hearing loss?
Hearing loss is most commonly treated with hearing aids. Today, modern hearing aids provide a wide range of user benefits so that you can hear the sounds around you in the most natural way possible.
Digital hearing aids provide you with a 360-degree listening environment, and they allow you to focus on the most important sounds around you while balancing the whole soundscape so that you can filter out unnecessary background noise.
Interested in testing you hearing?
If you’re interested in booking a hearing test, book an appointment with your local hearing care expert here
Book a free hearing test
1. G Livingston, Jonathan Huntley, Andrew Sommerlad, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. July 30, 2020.
2. G Livingston, A Sommerlad, V Orgeta, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care.
The Lancet. July 20, 2017.