TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HearingLife, Canada’s largest group of hearing centres, announced today that a new report in The Lancet, one of the world’s most-prestigious medical journals, has identified hearing loss as the greatest modifiable risk factor for dementia.1 The only way to confirm hearing loss is through a professional hearing test. In response to this news, HearingLife reminds all Canadians that it provides free hearing tests and risk-free hearing aid trials nationwide.
Nearly half of Canadians age 60 and older have some form of hearing loss.2 The Lancet report found that people in midlife, defined as ages 45 to 65, have nearly twice the risk of developing dementia due to hearing loss, relative to those without hearing loss. A professional hearing test is the first preventative measure for maintaining a healthy level of hearing.
The 2020 Lancet Commission report, titled “Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care,” states that modifying 12 risk factors could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases.1 Of these risk factors, untreated hearing loss in midlife is the largest. The authors encourage the use of hearing aids for hearing loss and report that reduced cognitive stimulation can contribute to cognitive decline. “Using hearing aids appears to reduce the excess risk from hearing loss,” they wrote, particularly in midlife. Early adoption of hearing aids can help people lead a higher quality of life, stay active, and help prevent the risks of untreated hearing loss, which include isolation, depression, and dementia.
“Hearing loss usually progresses gradually and can be hard to identify without a professional test,” says Jillian Price, chief audiologist for HearingLife Canada. “The Lancet report demonstrates that identifying and treating hearing loss should be a priority because of the impact it can have on cognitive decline. Both hearing loss and dementia are on the rise3,4 so it is critically important that those who may have some level of hearing loss get their hearing checked by a hearing care professional.”
Hearing aids are a gateway to communication and can help facilitate a healthy and active lifestyle through all stages of life, especially in mid to later stages, when the risk for dementia increases.
“Now that most of our nearly 250 HearingLife centres are open with COVID-19 safety measures in place, it’s no longer necessary to delay taking care of your hearing,” Price says.
Those interested in a free hearing test can call 1-888-927-0548 or visit www.hearinglife.ca to make an appointment and learn how HearingLife is keeping its staff and clients safe during the pandemic.
Nearly half of all Canadians over 60 suffer from hearing loss. As Canada’s largest hearing care provider with hundreds of convenient centres from coast to coast, HearingLife is actively working to raise awareness about this alarming and largely unaddressed health concern. Through its Campaign for Better Hearing, HearingLife has the simple but lofty goal of providing a free hearing test to every Canadian over the age of 60, and making hearing aids accessible to those who cannot otherwise afford them.
HearingLife delivers hearing health and is part of Audika Group, an international hearing care provider and member of the global hearing health company Demant. HearingLife can be found online at www.hearinglife.ca, on Twitter @hearinglifeca, on Instagram @hearinglifecanada, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Hearinglifecanada/ and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/canada-hearing-centre.
1Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of The Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020;396(10248):413-446. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6
2 Hearing loss abounds in Canadian population. The National Campaign for Better Hearing. Accessed August 18, 2020. https://campaignforbetterhearing.ca/2019/07/hearing-loss-abounds-in-canadian-population/