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Can treating hearing loss help prevent dementia?

Senior couple mountain biking on a forest trail, low angle

A study conducted by The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care noted that 50 million people have dementia worldwide – and that number is expected to triple by 2050. The need for dementia prevention and management is urgent, as dementia not only affects the person who has it, but it also impacts their family and friends.

The nine lifestyle factors

The Lancet Commission’s 24 international experts concluded that one in three cases of dementia could be prevented if people managed nine lifestyle factors – one of which is managing hearing loss during midlife (between age 40-65). The other eight include:

  • Increased childhood education
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining social engagements
  • Reducing or stopping smoking
  • Managing depression
  • Managing diabetes
  • Managing hypertension
  • Avoid obesity

Dementia typically doesn’t manifest itself with symptoms until age 65+, but the study’s authors say it likely begins between ages 40-65. If people can manage the above nine modifiable risk factors early on in life, it could great contribute to preventing or delaying dementia.

Dementia and hearing loss

 Science isn’t yet certain why unmanaged hearing loss can increase the risk for dementia. But it has confirmed that hearing loss strains your brain, leading to social isolation and depression, and it accelerates brain atrophy.

Hearing loss is something you can manage with the help of hearing professionals. If you think you have hearing loss, take control and call Evolution Hearing in Charlottesville, VA at 434-260-8007 or our Raleigh, NC location at 919-670-3258 so we can help improve your quality of life.