Hearing aid use can protect against cognitive decline

A new report published by the Lancet Commission shows that hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor against dementia. In fact, moderate hearing impairment can increase one’s dementia risk 3-fold1,8. This is due to the fact that hearing loss leads to lowered mental stimulation, isolation, and, ultimately, cognitive decline. Fortunately, hearing aids have been shown to protect against cognitive decline by keeping the brain actively engaged in everyday life.

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    In Northern Ireland, around 20,000 have dementia6

     

  • Half of people don’t know the risk factors for dementia9

     

  • Individuals with moderate hearing loss have triple the dementia risk1,8

     

  • If all hearing loss was treated, nearly 1 in 10 cases of dementia could be eliminated2

     

There are ways to reduce the risk of dementia

The 2020 Report of The Lancet Commission, Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, has been released on July 30th, 2020. The latest research states that modifying 12 risk factors from childhood to late life could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases. These lifestyle factors that can be adjusted in order to reduce one’s risk for developing dementia. The 12 modifiable risk factors are presented below:2

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Of these 12 risk factors, an untreated hearing loss in midlife remains the largest modifiable risk factor of dementia. Additionally, 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 impairment1,8

The recent study by the Lancet also cites that “hearing loss might result in cognitive decline through reduced cognitive stimulation.2” The study further recommends the use of hearing aids in those with hearing loss as a way to protect against cognitive decline.2

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How hearing aids can support your brain

Hearing aids support your brain by helping you to process sound so that you can keep your brain mentally stimulated.

When you have hearing loss, it takes extra effort to keep up with conversations. This can lead to avoiding social situations and feelings of isolation. Hearing aids help to keep you connected to the world around you so that you can confidently participate in social gatherings and activities.

Hearing aid audiologists recommend hearing aids as a means of maintaining an active lifestyle - and thereby preventing one’s risk for developing dementia.

FAQ about dementia