In July last year, The Lancet released a report discussing the risk factors of dementia and the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia. They covered 12 different factors in their report, with hearing loss topping the list both in importance and how much it could reduce the risk.
All told, these 12 factors, if completely removed, could reduce the number of dementia cases by around 40%, they speculated. The 12 risk factors they identified were:
- Hearing impairment
- Physical inactivity
- Low social contact
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Brain injury
- Air pollution
- Not completing secondary education
Obviously, we’re going to be focusing on hearing impairment in this blog. However, we thought it was important to at least mention the rest, as they are important in the fight against dementia and to reduce your risk of dementia.
As well as hearing loss as a factor, the report outlined a variety of recommendations that you can take onboard to reduce your risk of hearing loss. These include addressing hearing loss at the earliest stage possible, getting routine hearing health check-ups, protecting your hearing from exposure to loud noises, and staying active both mentally and physically.
These are relatively simple changes to your lifestyle but could result in a pronounced reduction in your chance to develop dementia in later life. Dementia is a problem that is growing in the UK population, with over 850,000 people currently suffering from it. If you can reduce this risk with lifestyle changes as simple as booking a hearing health check-up every 6 months, wouldn’t you do it?
To put hearing loss into perspective, and why it’s such a leading cause of dementia, we only have to look at the numbers. Around 12 million people in the UK currently suffer from some form of hearing loss, that’s around 1 in 6 of us. Unfortunately, 40% of these people are undiagnosed, whether they are ignoring the issue or haven’t noticed it enough yet.
There’s been an update! (2023)
The Lancet (2023) highlights the crucial role of hearing interventions in mitigating cognitive decline and dementia in older adults with hearing loss.
The evidence presented indicates that these interventions can lead to a remarkable 48% reduction in the 3-year cognitive change in individuals at risk. The report also emphasises the potential significance of regular hearing tests, particularly for those aged over 70, as early identification and intervention can have a significant impact on cognitive health. By addressing hearing issues proactively, older adults can potentially improve their cognitive outcomes and overall quality of life.
Our aim at DigiClear is to promote the signs of hearing loss and encourage everyone to book regular hearing health check-ups. By doing this, we can reach everyone suffering from hearing loss and help to reduce the number of people being diagnosed with dementia later in life and reduce your risk of dementia.
If you’re concerned about your hearing or the hearing of a loved one, please do get in touch with us. A simple 15-minute hearing health check-up can make all of the difference and provide much-needed peace of mind.