Can Untreated Hearing Loss Cause Dementia?

 

Hearing loss can be debilitating enough when it comes to health and well-being, but research is now showing its severity may also be a risk factor for dementia, according to a Lancet Public Health study published in April.

The study analyzed data from the UK Biobank database and contained information on 437,704 individuals aged 40-69 who started participating in the study between 2006 and 2010. The individuals lived in England, Scotland and Wales. They had an average age of 56 years at the start of the study, and the average follow-up time was 12 years.

After adjusting for other factors, the Lancet study found that individuals with untreated hearing loss had a 42% higher risk of dementia compared to those with normal hearing. The study also found that individuals who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids had no significantly increased risk of dementia compared to individuals without hearing loss.

The Lancet study also examined whether factors such as loneliness, depression, and social isolation contributed to the link between hearing loss and dementia, with research finding these factors accounted for less than 8% of the observed associations.

The results support findings that for individuals with hearing loss, hearing aid usage provides a direct protective impact on reducing the chance of dementia and cognitive decline.

Do you suspect you’re losing your hearing? Schedule an appointment with Hearing Help Plus. The licensed hearing professionals on staff will work with you to find the right hearing solution that best fits your individual needs, lifestyle and budget.

Hearing Help Plus : 1712 Sycamore Road : DeKalb, IL 60115 : 815-758-0157 : hearinghelpplus.com

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