Difficulty hearing speech could be a risk factor for dementia

Posted 12 August 2021 by Simon Myhill RHAD FdSc FSHAA, Clinical Lead Audiologist
New research suggests that adults should listen out for changes in their hearing, as hearing difficulties are closely linked to developing dementia in older age.

Difficulty hearing speech could be a risk factor for dementia

In a study of over 80,000 adults over the age of 60, those who had trouble hearing speech in noisy environments had a greater risk of dementia.

But there's an upside, too: the study, which was conducted by researchers at University of Oxford, adds to evidence suggesting hearing problems may not just be a symptom of dementia but actually a risk factor of dementia that could possibly alert people, their families, or doctors to its onset before any deterioration begins.

In 2017 and 2020, hearing loss was listed along with smoking and physical inactivity as one of the major, modifiable risk factors of dementia. In those Lancet reports, it was suggested that hearing loss might have the highest burden of all – such that people with unaddressed hearing loss in midlife are up to five times more likely to develop dementia.

The keyword here is ‘modifiable’: these risk factors are elements of our lifestyle and general health that can be improved, and if so, may boost our overall health and reduce the odds of health conditions.

So, I’m here speaking as an audiologist and someone who wants to encourage as many people to address untreated hearing loss as possible.

Being fitted with a fantastic modern-day hearing system has so many benefits including improving your overall communication, putting less strain on your brain, and keeping you connected to the world around you so that you can confidently participate in social gatherings and activities.

It all starts with a simple hearing assessment, which is quick and easy. Our expert audiologists will be able to talk you through your results and discuss the wide range of options that are available to help improve your hearing.

If you have concerns about your hearing then book a hearing assessment today – it could change your life!

Click here to contact us.