In 2020, The Lancet Commission published a new study showing that hearing loss is the biggest risk factor against dementia that can be modified. Staggeringly, individuals with moderate hearing loss are three times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those whose hearing is fine.

This is because hearing loss can lead to higher levels of isolation, lower mental stimulation and, if it is left untreated for long enough, eventually cognitive decline. The good news is, seeing an audiologist and having a hearing aid fitted can protect against this cognitive decline and lower the odds of an eventual dementia diagnosis significantly.

What is dementia?

In simple terms, dementia is the loss of cognitive function. People who are diagnosed with dementia may experience difficulty remembering things, thinking or reasoning, which can make getting through daily life pretty touch. Right now, it is estimated that there are 50 million people diagnosed with dementia globally, and for them, life can be confusing, difficult and scary at times.

Is it possible to reduce the risk of dementia?

Although no one can reduce their risk of developing dementia completely, it is nevertheless heartening to know that there are several things you can do to reduce your risk by as much as 40%. They include things such as getting regular exercise, giving up smoking and avoiding social isolation.

The most effective way to reduce your risk of developing dementia is to treat your hearing loss, should you have a hearing impairment; mild hearing loss can double your risk of dementia, while moderate hearing loss can triple your chances of succumbing to the illness. Which is why it’s so important that you deal with any hearing problems as swiftly as possible. 

How can hearing aids help?

A lot of people wonder how hearing aids could possibly help to reduce the risk of dementia, but the research shows that they absolutely can. They enable you to hear and process all of the sounds you should be able to hear and process, which helps to stimulate your brain and keeps you feeling mentally sharp.

When you are experiencing hearing loss, it takes far more effort to follow conversations and this means that a lot of people with hearing difficulties either avoid social situations altogether or feel excluded from them when they do show up. A good audiologist can fit you with a hearing aid that will help to remedy the situation so that you can maintain a good level of social connection, feel more confident and ultimately keep your brain stimulated, which means you will naturally lower your risk factor for dementia.

What should you do if you think you are losing your hearing?

As you can see, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to hearing loss, not only for the sake of your hearing but also for the sake of your brain. If you notice any of the common symptoms of hearing loss, which you can find below, you should contact a qualified audiologist who will be able to assess your level of hearing and potentially fit you with corrective hearing aids.

Common symptoms of hearing loss

  • Being unable to follow conversations
  • Turning the volume up high on electronics
  • Misunderstanding what people say
  • Feeling frustrated by conversations
  • Feeling tired because you’ve had to concentrate so hard on a conversation.

How will hearing aids help?

As you might expect, hearing aids will amplify the sounds that you hear so that you do not have to strain or concentrate too hard to understand what is being said. These days, hearing aids are pretty small and easy to hide away behind, or even inside the ear. Once you have yours fitted, you will be able to live your life normally than you could before, which means you won’t have to struggle quite so much in daily life and because you’ll be able to actively participate in life much more effectively. You’ll be able to give you brain the stimulation it needs and lower your dementia risk. 

If you want to know more about the link between hearing loss and dementia, you’re going to want to speak to a qualified audiologist as soon as possible, especially if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of hearing loss, you’re going to want to get in touch with the Rametta Audiology & Hearing Aid Center. Call us today at Tarentum: (724) 224-6811 or Vandergrift: (724) 567-7381 to treat your hearing loss today.