What You Need to Know: The Link Between Hearing Loss and Dementia

To mark World Alzheimer’s Day this year we’ve put together important guidance on how to look after your hearing health and live well for longer. Most people don’t know that hearing loss is correlated with cognitive decline and dementia, and that there’s lots you can do now to potentially reduce your risk.

 

Improving hearing health starts with awareness and understanding. Together, we can work towards tackling this hugely important issue. So let's spread the word and share this important information.

We are marking World Alzheimer's Day by offering a special 50% discount to say thanks for helping us raise awareness of this issue.

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Our Hearing and Why It Matters

Our hearing is a key part of life that connects us to the people and world around us, yet many of us will be impacted by hearing loss in our lifetimes.

 

Currently, 1 in 5 adults in the UK already experience hearing loss but with the rise in noise exposure and unsafe listening habits these numbers are set to rise rapidly. Hearing loss is a big problem and most people are unaware that it affects much more than just our hearing.

Research indicates that:

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Mild hearing loss doubles the risk of developing dementia

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Moderate hearing loss triples the risk of developing dementia

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Severe hearing loss increases the risk up to five times

What can we do about it?

Research published in The Lancet medical journal in 2017 indicates that hearing loss is the biggest potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia - something we can change to reduce risk. In fact, unaddressed hearing loss could be responsible for 9% of all dementias. This is huge, yet most people aren’t aware of these simple facts. It’s time to spread the word and take hearing health more seriously.

 

There are 2 key ways that we can look after our hearing health and reduce the impacts of hearing loss on our quality of life:

 

  1. Protection and prevention

  2. Stimulating our auditory system

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Protection & Prevention

Have you had your ears ring after going to a gig? Or turned up your headphone volume to cover up the background noise? 

50%

of young adults are at risk of hearing loss from unsafe listening.

Noise exposure is the second biggest cause of hearing loss and it is largely avoidable through safe listening measures. Listening safely helps you protect your hearing and look after long-term well-being. Whether you’re relaxing to music at home, enjoying a night out, or keeping busy at work, it’s important to take the time to make sure you’re listening safely.

Tips for Listening Safely

Enjoying Entertainment
  • Wear gig plugs - these are designed to reduce the volume and impact of sound while maintaining the quality and clarity of the music.

  • Avoid speakers  - stay away from sources of loud noise during large events.

  • Take regular breaks - spending breaks in quiet spaces gives your ears a chance to rest and recover.

  • Rest your ears for 24 hours after - this gives your ears a chance to recuperate.

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In the Workplace
  • Set your headphone volume level in a quiet space away from other competing noises.

  • Clean headsets regularly and avoid pooling with others to minimise the risk of infection.

  • For single-sided headphones, switch between both ears to avoid fatigue.

  • Wear hearing protection in loud workplaces - ear plugs and ear muffs reduce the noise level of sounds to keep your ears safe. Respect the rule and protective measures provided by your employer, they are there for a reason.

Everyday Life
  • Follow the 60/60 rule - don’t listen at more than 60% of the maximum volume and take a break every 60 minutes.

  • Don’t turn the volume up - competing background noise means we may not realise how loud we’re actually listening.

  • Consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones - these reduce the background noise and lower the volume we need to listen at to hear clearly.

  • Take regular breaks - frequent breaks in a quiet space give your ears a chance to rest and recover.

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Remember, a noise could be doing damage if

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You have to raise your voice to talk to the people around you

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You struggle to hear what people nearby are saying

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It hurts your ears, or you have ringing in your ears afterwards

Stimulating Our Auditory System

Did you know that most of our hearing actually happens in the brain? It’s our ears that pick up sound waves while it’s the brain that turns them into meaningful sounds. 

 

When we experience hearing loss it can make it much more challenging to understand the sounds going on around us. This is where auditory training comes in - recent studies have shown that regularly practising and stimulating our hearing skills can help them to improve and become more efficient at processing sounds.

 

eargym’s immersive training games are designed to stimulate your auditory system, the parts of the brain responsible for hearing, and improve your ability to hear better for a more enjoyable auditory experience in everyday life.

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Start your journey to better hearing health today

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Discover your hearing

Find out your hearing age and what your strongest hearing skill is.

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Improve your hearing experience

Practise your hearing skills with fun and immersive training games

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Learn more about hearing health

Boost your knowledge with tips on how to look after your hearing health.

​​We have a special offer to support World Alzheimer’s Day - get 50% off an eargym subscription and a 7-day free trial.

 

Spread the word and help more people take good care of their hearing health and live well for longer.

 

Get your 50% discount

Thank you for signing up! You will receive an email with your discount in the next 5 - 7 days.

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