Reacting to the new study, BSHAA Chief Executive Professor David Welbourn, left, said: “For far too long, hearing loss has been considered unimportant by too many in the medical community. It has often been passed off as an inevitable consequence of ageing. Neither of these are true. The Lancet commission on dementia is the latest, and perhaps the most definitive, of a growing body of evidence pointing to an important truth. The risk of dementia can be significantly reduced if people take good care of their hearing.
“The Lancet report shows that a quarter of the risk that individuals can manage for themselves is linked to hearing, and for the first time they raise the importance of addressing this in mid-life between 45 and 65, not simply when it has been left untreated to later life and the damage has already been done.
“This is a real wake-up call to people who can, and should, do something for themselves by getting their hearing tested and taking advice. This is such an easy way in which people can invest in their long-term health, just as they do by joining a gym or taking other steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
“People should not look solely to the NHS to provide answers, as they are already rationing access in many areas, even for those over 65. Modern technologies really do work and are cost-effective for anyone who values their quality of life and fulfilment in work and leisure alike.”