If you suffer from hearing loss, you may miss out on more than the conversations around you. Several studies suggest that people with hearing loss have increased risks of cognitive issues, including dementia. That is why it is important to keep up with your hearing health, and do everything you can to protect your hearing.
A Recent Study on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, & Care
In a recent study published in the Lancet (one of the world’s leading medical journals), they referred to dementia as “the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century.” The purpose of the study was to make recommendations for the prevention and management of dementia. They noted that approximately 50 million people were living with dementia in 2015, and due to rapidly aging worldwide population, that number is expected to triple by the year 2050.
In their report, they conclude that “dementia is by no means an inevitable consequence of aging.” Instead, they discuss “9 potentially modifiable health and lifestyle factors” that if eliminated, might reduce an individual’s risk of developing dementia, one of them being hearing loss. According to the study, how an individual manages these lifestyle factors at various points in their life can play a huge role in whether that individual will be affected by dementia, With hearing loss, the recommendation is to manage it in midlife (between ages 40-65), before it has a chance to negatively impact cognitive skills.
Why is Hearing Loss a Risk Factor for Dementia?
Admitted by many, the science isn’t yet unanimous on why untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia, but several studies have confirmed that hearing loss adds to the cognitive load of the brain, leading to social isolation and depression which can in fact accelerate brain atrophy — all of which are common contributing factors of dementia. So in conclusion, to help prevent possible dementia later in life, be proactive about your hearing health early in life.
Here are several ways to maintain good hearing health:
- Avoid loud noise
- Wear hearing protection when needed
- Don’t insert foreign objects in the ear canal
- Maintain a healthy eating diet
- Get your hearing checked regularly
Consult with the Hearing Care Professionals at Kenwood Hearing Center
If you still have questions, we are here to help! Please contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Ohio hearing center locations: Bowling Green, Toledo, or Wauseon. Remember, the experts at Kenwood Hearing Center are here for you to help you not only with hearing aids, but your overall hearing health.