Can hearing aids help prevent dementia?

By 2050, dementia is predicted to affect 150 million people worldwide. And in 2020 the Lancet Commission reported that 12 risk factors – including hearing loss – account for around 40% of worldwide dementia cases.

Two research articles released this year by the Lancet Commission have brought the matter into sharper focus and we feel it is important to address this new evidence.

Click here to access the article:

Here is the summary:

Dementia and hearing loss are common among older adults. New research, based on data sourced from the well-respected biomedical database, UK Biobank, has looked at the link between hearing aid use and the risk of dementia among middle aged and older people.

The study recruited over 437,000 adults aged 40–69 years between 2006 and 2010 across England, Scotland and Wales and it showed that people who had hearing loss but didn’t wear hearing aids had an increased risk of developing any form of dementia compared to people without hearing loss. 

However, people who had hearing loss and who wore hearing aids had NO increased risk.

It concluded that up to 8% of dementia cases could be prevented with proper hearing loss management.

Quite how hearing aid use reduces the risk of dementia remains unclear. Better hearing might reduce the stress on the brain and/or make it easier to understand spoken communication, relieving loneliness and enhancing social interaction (social isolation is linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline).

But what this study does highlight is the pressing need for new public health strategies to raise awareness of the potential harm of untreated hearing loss. It’s also time to give the public greater access to screening and hearing aid fitting services.

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Let the team at The Hearing Clinic help you to hear clearly, even in noisy settings, and stay connected to the people, places and pastimes you care about. You’ll be taking positive steps to long term health, happiness and wellbeing.

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