When it comes to solving the problem of dementia, the mainstream is at a loss.
Big Pharma wants you to believe the problem is one only their drugs can fix, and your conventional doctor will blame it on your genes.
But according to a new study, there’s one easy remedy for many cases of age-related memory loss. It’s got nothing to do with drugs, your genes or even your diet.
Have you ever heard the old saying, “Where it is, it isn’t?”
Well, that couldn’t be truer than when it comes to one of the little-known causes of dementia. I’m talking about hearing loss.
We’ve written about hearing loss and dementia a number of times in this newsletter. And though it may seem that hearing and memory loss aren’t connected, the truth is they go hand-in-hand.
Moderate Hearing Loss Increases Dementia Risk 61 Percent
In the latest study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed the health records of 2,413 individuals – half of whom were over 80 – looking for a link between the severity of hearing loss and dementia.
And boy, did they find one!
Folks with moderate to severe hearing loss were a whopping 61 percent more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing.
But there was also some good news about a safe remedy that’s easy to employ…
Hearing Aids Slashed Dementia Risk 32 Percent
The participants with hearing loss who also used hearing aids experienced a 32 percent lower risk of dementia.
“This study refines what we’ve observed about the link between hearing loss and dementia and builds support for public health action to improve hearing care access,” says lead author Alison Huang, PhD, MPH, a senior research associate in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology and at the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, also at the Bloomberg School.1
This isn’t the first time this link between hearing loss and memory loss has been established.
Treat Hearing Loss And Slow Dementia
In another study – which we reported to you last March – Ulster University researchers looked at data on 2,114 hard-of-hearing people over 50, some of whom wore hearing aids while others didn’t. The results showed that folks using hearing aids experienced a two-year slower conversion to dementia.2
And in yet another study we reported on two years ago, Oxford University researchers analyzed data from 82,039 participants in the United Kingdom Biobank research project. All the men and women were aged 60 or over and free from dementia when the study began.
Over the next four years each participant undertook speech-in-noise (SIN) hearing tests which are designed to reflect real world experience. Each participant’s hearing was then rated as normal, insufficient, or poor.3
After eleven years of follow up, 1,285 of the participants developed dementia. The key finding was that compared to normal SIN hearing test results, those in the poor hearing category had a whopping 91 percent higher dementia risk. That bears repeating, a 91 percent higher risk of dementia!
And then there’s the findings of The Lancet Commission, a group of editors from the medical journal The Lancet, who work with academic partners to identify pressing issues in medicine. Their aim is to provide recommendations that change health policy or improve health practice. These editors identified 12 risk factors that might prevent or delay up to 40 percent of dementias and suggested hearing loss could be responsible for eight percent of all dementia cases.
While this figure may sound low, it makes hearing loss the highest of the dementia risk factors apart from education, and potentially the most modifiable if every person with hearing impairment wore a hearing aid.
What’s The Link Between Hearing Loss And Dementia?
The link between dementia and hearing loss isn’t clear. Still, researchers believe hearing loss could impact the parts of your brain responsible for memory and cognition because you cannot store information you cannot properly process.
Some experts theorize that hearing loss itself is not a cause of dementia. Instead, they believe that it can lead to social isolation and depression, which are the true culprits. Interestingly, the researchers tested this theory and found little evidence to support it.
They also tested reverse causation. Since the beginnings of brain pathology seen in dementia occurs over many years, possibly decades, before symptoms of cognitive decline appear, this could be the driver of hearing impairment and not the other way round. Well, they found no evidence to support this either.
If you ask me this research makes it very clear that hearing loss IS a cause of dementia, but they just don’t have the mechanisms behind this process fully identified yet.
So, if you’re finding it hard to keep up in conversation… or you have to hit the volume button a little more often than you’d like… it’s probably time to get your hearing checked. And if you’re already suffering from memory problems, one solution is non-invasive and quite simple… get a hearing aid. Not only will it make social gatherings more enjoyable it just might save your memory from further decline.
Best of all, it couldn’t be easier.
Restore Your Hearing and Memory at the Drugstore?
If you can benefit from hearing aids, you don’t have to go any further than your local drugstore to get them! As of summer 2022, the FDA cleared hearing aids for over-the-counter use and sales in the United States.
This means you can skip the wait for fitting and testing appointments and get better hearing – and start fighting dementia – today!
Retailers like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart have hearing aids for sale.