Link between hearing loss and dementia

May 24, 2021

The following content was provided by TruHearing, Aspire Health Plan’s partner for affordable hearing healthcare services and hearing aids.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) — the perfect time to check in on your hearing and discuss the importance of treating hearing loss — not only for your hearing health but your overall health, too. For example, did you know that hearing loss has been linked to several health consequences, including dementia?

Studies have shown that your risk for dementia increases with every 10 dB of hearing loss. A decibel, abbreviated as dB, is a unit that measures sound intensity.

Here are the decibel levels for some everyday sounds:

  • 10 dB: normal breathing
  • 30 dB: whispering nearby
  • 60 dB: normal conversation
  • 90 dB: lawn mower
  • 120 dB: emergency sirens

The inability to hear even seemingly small sounds can make a huge difference in your risk for memory problems and dementia. A study examined 12 factors (such as education levels, air pollution, and traumatic brain injury) that can increase a person’s risk for developing dementia. This study from The Lancet Commission showed that hearing loss was the number one contributor towards an increased risk of dementia.

Treating hearing loss can have a significant impact when it comes to preventing or delaying dementia and keeping your mind sharp. Wearing hearing aids has been shown to be the most effective way to protect against dementia for those experiencing hearing loss.

Another reason for increased memory problems with hearing loss is that you become less connected to the world around you as you hear fewer and fewer sounds. This disconnect can lead to feelings of loneliness due to difficulty communicating or engaging in social settings, which has also been linked with an increased risk for memory problems and dementia. In fact, a recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology found loneliness has been associated with a 40% increased risk of dementia.

Taking action and getting your hearing checked is a great first step towards preventing or delaying the onset of dementia. As an Aspire Health Plan member, you have access to high-quality, low-priced hearing aids through TruHearing®. With your Enhanced Health benefit package, you get up to two hearing aids per year covered at a low copay of $899 for the TruHearing Premium hearing aid or $599 for the TruHearing Advanced hearing aid.

With May being BHSM, now’s a fantastic time to get your hearing checked. To take advantage of your hearing benefits, schedule a hearing exam with a provider near you by calling TruHearing at (866) 792-7913.

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