Image shoes man and brain showing the connection between dementia and hearing loss

Dementia and hearing loss

The surprising link between hearing loss and dementia

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Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia
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Half of people don’t know the risk factors for dementia
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Individuals with moderate hearing loss have triple the risk of dementia

There are ways to reduce the risk of dementia

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

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Of these 12 risk factors, an untreated hearing loss in midlife remains the largest modifiable risk factor of dementia. Additionally, the risk of dementia varies based on level of hearing loss.

  • Mild hearing loss doubles the risk of dementia
  • Moderate hearing loss triples the risk of dementia 
  • Severe hearing impairment increases the risk of dementia of up to five times that of those who do not have hearing impairment

The recent study by the Lancet also cites that “hearing loss might result in cognitive decline through reduced cognitive stimulation.” 

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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 hearing loss is present, 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 with friends and loved ones

HearingLife hearing care professionals recommend hearing aids as a means of staying socially engaged with loved ones and participating in meaningful activities. 

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FAQ about dementia


2. G Livingston, Jonathan Huntley, Andrew Sommerlad, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. July 30, 2020.