September is World Alzheimer’s Month- the international campaign to raise awareness and challenge the stigma surrounding dementia. The Better Hearing Institute has gotten involved with the outreach after a report on dementia prevention was released that includes hearing loss as a potential risk factor.
The Lancet International Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care released a comprehensive report, the findings of which parallel with conclusions from two other recent studies. The Lancet report findings suggest that more than one third of global dementia cases may be preventable through addressing lifestyle factors that impact an individual’s risk, with hearing loss being one of nine potential risk factors.
A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society concluded that older adults with hearing loss are at greater risk of dementia than those with normal hearing, suggesting that hearing loss could serve as a risk for cognitive decline, and that correction of hearing loss could delay the onset of dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference reported a study in 2017 with results that suggest hearing loss could be an early indicator of worsening cognitive performance in older adults and that identifying and treating hearing loss could have value for interventions aimed at reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s disease.
Results of all three studies build on earlier research showing a link between hearing loss and dementia. The consistent conclusions in all studies are that hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia, and that addressing and correcting hearing loss early on could delay the onset of dementia.
BHI’s outreach as a result of these findings focuses on providing pertinent information and resources that will help ensure efforts to diagnose and treat hearing loss promptly and effectively.
The first step you can take for your hearing health is to have your hearing checked. You can read our article here on how simple a hearing test is, and call our SoundLogic team today to schedule.