People in the UK are being encouraged to do more to look after their brains to try to reduce their risk of dementia.
And getting regular hearing tests in your 40s and 50s is one way to prevent social isolation which has been linked to developing dementia.
A new brain check-up tool from Alzheimer’s Research UK offers tips on staying sharp, keeping active and connecting with others.
Regular hearing checks and hearing aids if needed help people stay connected with others and the world around them.
Fiona Idriss, one of our senior audiologists, said that it was interesting that one of the primary areas they promote is hearing health. “They advocate getting your hearing checked as several studies have found a link between hearing loss and dementia risk,” she said.
“Researchers are still untangling whether hearing loss is a risk factor in itself, or whether it can increase social isolation which in turn may increase risk.”
Dr Sarah Bauermeister, senior scientist at Dementia Platforms UK, told the BBC that several studies had found a link between hearing loss and dementia risk.
“Why is not clear,” she said, “but a probable factor is they are working harder to hear conversations rather than focusing on cognitive tasks – and their world shrinks.”
She said it was a good idea to get your hearing checked and corrected with a hearing aid if needed.
Anyone can take the short brain check quiz, which has been based on the latest research, to find out how to lower individual chances of dementia.
Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “With 40% of dementia cases potentially being preventable, there’s an enormous opportunity to reduce the personal and societal impact of this heart-breaking condition.”
If you are struggling to hear – especially in social situations – then get in touch with us for a free hearing assessment. Ring 0800 028 6179 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Take the brain health check here