All The Things You Need to Know About Hearing Loss And The Risk of Elderly Dementia
Hearing aids may protect against increased dementia risk associated with hearing loss. In this articles, ELEHEAR will list the recent research about hearing loss and dementia to show the connection between them.
World Health Organization
According to the data from the World Health Organization(WHO), hearing impairment affects around 1.5 billion people worldwide, and there is growing evidence that this could increase the risk of dementia. It is one of the biggest health threats in the world and the number of people living with the condition worldwide is predicted to almost triple by 2050.
Alzheimer’s Disease Reports
Among other changes that come with maturity, you can expect your hearing and vision to change. Age-related hearing loss, for example, affects about 50 percent of people over 75 years old. Diseases that cause vision loss are also common with age. More than just that, when people have vision and hearing problems, known as dual sensory impairment (DSI), their risk of dementia increases significantly. One recent notable finding: A person with DSI has an eight-fold increased risk of dementia, according to a May 2022 study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports.
For experts, this fact represents a significant and rapidly growing threat to future health and social care systems in all communities.
The Lancet Public Health
In this framework, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and other scientists have just published in the scientific journal The Lancet Public Health the conclusions of an exhaustive study that analyzed the association between the use of hearing aids and the risk of developing dementia. To do this, they used information from more than 400,000 participants registered in the United Kingdom Biobank database. It is essential to reduce exposure to loud sounds to maintain good hearing throughout life and thus avoid early signs of dementia.
The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care has already suggested that hearing loss may be related to approximately 8 % of dementia cases in the world.
Shandong University Study
In recent research, specialists from Shandong University in China carried out a large study for a decade, which allowed them to suggest that addressing hearing loss is an early way that help reduce the global burden of the disease. The study revealed the importance of hearing aids since hearing loss, by isolating the person, can drive dementia
“Evidence is accumulating that hearing loss may be the most impactful modifiable risk factor for dementia in midlife.” "Our study provides the best evidence to date to suggest that hearing aids could be an affordable, minimally invasive treatment to mitigate the potential impact of hearing loss on dementia," said Dongshan Zhu, one of the paper's lead authors and a health professional. Shandong University, China.
The researchers analyzed data from 437,704 people who were part of the UK Biobank database. Information on the presence of hearing loss and hearing aid use was collected through self-administered questionnaires, and dementia diagnoses were determined using hospital records and death registry data. The average age of study participants at recruitment was 56 years and the average follow-up time was 12 years .
“About four-fifths of people experiencing hearing loss do not use hearing aids in the UK. Hearing loss can begin as early as age 40, and there is evidence that gradual cognitive decline before a dementia diagnosis can last 20 to 25 years. Our findings highlight the urgent need for the early introduction of hearing aids when someone begins to experience a hearing impairment . A society-wide group effort is needed, including raising awareness of hearing loss and possible links to dementia, increasing accessibility to hearing aids by reducing cost, and more support for primary care workers to screen for hearing impairment. , raise awareness, and provide treatment. such as fitting hearing aids,” says Dongshan Zhu.
In a word, hearing aids are important to reduce isolation and increase quality of life.
The importance of treatment
If you or a loved one are noticing changes in your vision and hearing, make an appointment with a medical professional. If you are diagnosed with a dual sensory disability, work closely with your medical team to identify appropriate assistive devices, coping strategies, and other rehabilitative activities. To address your individual needs. Or you can start using OTC hearing aids to improve hearing conditions. Most importantly, involve the help of your loved ones in the education and rehabilitation process.
The good news is that studies show that people who receive treatment for dual sensory impairment have a better quality of life and a lower risk of death than people who do not receive treatment. You are never too old for hearing aids. Click to check more information about ELEHEAR.