shutterstock 1277806495 smallA recent study published in The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, called dementia “the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century.” The study, conducted by The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care, noted that 50 million people have dementia worldwide — and that the number is expected to triple by 2050.

The commission’s purpose was to provide recommendations for prevention and management of dementia. The need is urgent, it determined, as dementia not only affects the person with dementia, it also impacts their family and friends.

Be proactive earlier in life to help prevent dementia later

The commission’s 24 international experts concluded that one in three cases of dementia could be prevented if people managed just 9 lifestyle factors — one of which is managing hearing loss during midlife (between age 40-65).

The other 8 include increasing childhood education and exercise, maintaining social engagements, reducing or stopping smoking, and management of depression, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Dementia typically doesn’t manifest itself with symptoms until we’re 65+, but the study’s authors note that it likely begins between ages 40-65. They determined that managing these 9 modifiable risk factors at various stages of life could “contribute to prevention or delay of dementia.”

The link between dementia and hearing loss

The commission admits science isn’t yet unanimous on why unmanaged hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia. But research has confirmed that hearing loss adds to the cognitive load of the brain, leads to social isolation and depression, and accelerates brain atrophy — all of which are likely contributing factors.

We can help you manage your hearing loss

Hearing loss is definitely something you can manage with the help of a trained hearing professional. If you have or think you have hearing loss, this new research gives you an important reason to do something about it as soon as you can. To book your comprehensive, free hearing assessment call Mary Hare Hearing Centre on 01635 523 343 or pop in to see us at 10 Weavers Walk, Newbury, RG14 1AL.