As we approach Dementia Week in September, it is crucial to shed light on the link between dementia and hearing loss, particularly in the context of social isolation. Australians aged 60 years or older need to be aware of the potential risks associated with untreated hearing loss and the steps they can take to ensure they remain an active part of their communities.
The Link between Hearing Loss and Dementia
Studies have shown a significant connection between untreated hearing loss and the development of dementia. In fact, moderate hearing impairment can increase one's dementia risk three-fold . Moreover, the decline in memory and cognitive abilities can occur up to 40 per cent faster in individuals with hearing loss compared to their counterparts with normal hearing .
The exact reasons behind this link are still being studied, but one potential explanation researchers have suggested is overtaxing of the brain. When the ears receive sounds, they transmit them to the brain for processing. However, if the messages from the ears are unclear, the brain must work harder to understand them, which can lead to an overworked and weakened working memory. Additionally, social isolation, which is more common among people with hearing loss, could further heighten the risk of dementia .
The Importance of managing your hearing loss
The good news is that it is thought that managing hearing loss may help reduce the risk of developing dementia. Whether you currently have a hearing loss or not, regular hearing checks are essential for monitoring any changes in your hearing ability. If a hearing loss is detected, seeking appropriate management may benefit your cognitive health.
Embracing Community and Social Connections
Apart from managing hearing loss, staying socially engaged is a powerful way to combat isolation and promote overall well-being. Being part of a community and maintaining social connections can have a positive impact on mental health and cognitive function. Engaging in various social activities, joining clubs, attending events, or participating in volunteer work are excellent ways to foster a sense of belonging and strengthen bonds with others.
As you take steps to stay connected and look after your cognitive health, remember to prioritise your hearing health too.
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Getting a hearing health check is a step towards a healthier, happier life. To book an appointment with Audika Hearing Clinic today and speak with one of their hearing experts, call 1800-609-962.
Seniors Card $50 Offer
Audika Hearing Clinic is partnering with Seniors Card in 2023 to offer eligible Seniors Card members a reward for prioritising their hearing health.
New clients who complete an in-clinic hearing check are eligible for a $50 Visa Prepaid Gift Card. Offer available to Seniors Card members until 31 December 2023^.
^For full Terms and Conditions, click here.