Latest Lancet Report. Hearing Loss and Dementia

Wearing hearing aids and preventing dementia: reinforcing the link
We’ve been highlighting the link between wearing hearing aids and dementia prevention for three years now.   But a newly-launched report from a Lancet Commission restates this link and goes further – recommending wearing hearing protection to prevent hearing damage.
Back in 2017 the original Lancet Commission report focused on nine potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia. These were:
  1. less education
  2. hypertension
  3. hearing impairment
  4. smoking
  5. obesity
  6. depression
  7. physical inactivity
  8. diabetes
  9. low social contact.

The updated ‘Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission’, published this August, highlights a growing body of evidence to support these modifiable risk factors for dementia. It also adds three more, thanks to new evidence.
These are:

  1. excessive alcohol consumption
  2. air pollution
  3. traumatic brain injury.

These 12 modifiable risk factors account for around 40% of dementia cases worldwide. And because they are modifiable, these dementias could theoretically have been prevented or delayed.

The respected authors of the new report make a number of recommendations, including “encouraging the use of hearing aids to reduce the excess risk from hearing loss… and reducing hearing loss by protecting ears from excessive noise exposure”.

Making these changes, even in later life can help to lower your risk of developing dementia. As the report says, “it is never too early or too late to prevent the onset of dementia”.

If you have never had your hearing tested then it is important that you do.  Please call us to book your appointment at The Hearing Clinic to get checked.

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