Protect your hearing and avoid dementia

Sound wave and ear

Hearing loss can lead to dementia. Research shows that 47 million people were affected by dementia on a global scale in 2015. Scientists predict that the number will have tripled by 2050. In this blog post we take a closer look at hearing loss as a contributing factor to the development of dementia.

Even though dementia is a wide-spread disease, there are several things you can do to avoid developing dementia. Research shows that there are different factors to pay special attention to throughout your life, to avoid dementia.

One third of dementia cases can be avoided

There are 9 factors, that can lead to dementia. If we pay attention to them, one third of dementia cases worldwide can be avoided.

9 things that can lead to dementia:

  • Low education (no education beyond primary school)
  • Hearing loss
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Physical inactivity
  • Social isolation
  • Diabetes

Hearing loss can lead to dementia

Hearing loss can lead to social isolation, because it can be difficult to take part in social activities, when you cannot hear what people are saying. Isolating yourself socially, can lead to depression, which is also one of the 9 things to avoid, if you want to prevent dementia.


Central vs. peripheral hearing loss

There are two types of hearing loss: central and peripheral hearing loss. Peripheral hearing loss is distinct from central hearing loss because peripheral hearing loss is caused by damage to the hearing. This type of hearing loss can cause dementia and is also the type that is treatable, for instance with the use of hearing aids.

3 tips to avoid hearing loss

  • Turn the volume down
  • Use earplugs or hearing protection
  • Give your ears a break

Test yourself

If you are not certain whether your hearing is affected during the day, take this simple test:
In the evening, before bedtime, turn on your favourite music player and set the volume at a comfortable sound level. The next morning, after you have had some time to rest your ears, turn on the music again. If you feel like turning down the volume, your hearing has been affected during the day.


Source: The Lancet Commision on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care

One thought on “Protect your hearing and avoid dementia

  1. Hector Uba says:

    Thank you for this list of things you can do to to help avoid hearing loss, it helps to have reminders every now and then. I had no idea that you could test if your hearing was being affected throughout the day. I would imagine that most people’s hearing is affected throughout the day and they don’t even know it.

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