Hearing loss link to dementia in new international study

Addressing hearing loss can play a major role in preventing dementia, a new international study published in The Lancet has found.

Mid-life hearing loss tops nine risk factors that contribute to the risk of dementia.

The Lancet report shows that almost a quarter of the risk that individuals can manage for themselves is linked to hearing. For the first time they raise the importance of addressing this in middle age – not when it has been left untreated to later life and the damage has already been done.

The study says hearing loss can deny people a cognitively rich environment and lead to social isolation and depression, which are among the other potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia.

The report puts the spotlight on the crucial importance of addressing hearing loss at a much earlier age – between 45 and 65.

Lead Audiologist at Hearing Wales, Ben Davies said:

“This new study suggests that getting a hearing test is an important step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“It is such an easy way in which people can invest in their long-term health, just as they do by joining a gym or taking other steps towards preventing future problems.”

A hearing test is free and takes just ten minutes. If there is an issue your audiologist can take you through the options and technology available to improve your quality of life and help slow any further decline.