Usually, you need a doctor to measure your dementia risks. And, typically, not just any doctor either, but a specialist.
You’ll likely need to see a neurologist for the most advanced types of scans and testing. And that’s IF you can even get an appointment. Many neurologists are booked for months.
But there’s another option you can try if you’re concerned about your dementia risks. One you can implement on your own right now.
You don’t need a special scan. Heck, you don’t even need a specialist.
In fact, if you’re honest with yourself, or at least have family members who are honest with you, you can spot two major dementia risk factors without ever leaving your home.
And if you have them, you’ve also got something else. A golden opportunity to FIND the problem, FIX the issue, and potentially AVOID dementia in your future.
The earliest warning signs are…
Scientists with an ear to the ground are taking a closer look at some of the biggest emerging risk factors for dementia that are within our control.
In other words, they’re moving beyond the usual stuff we’ve come to expect, like damaged proteins. Instead, they’re targeting things we can CHANGE to help reduce our risks of ever developing dementia.
And two of the biggest culprits might surprise you:
- hearing loss
- vision loss
According to the new study, these two common conditions are responsible for about NINE percent of all dementia cases. Which could account for nearly 500,000 cases of the folks currently living with the disease.
On the surface, it might seem like your sense of hearing or vision would have very little to do with cognitive risk. But it turns out there’s actually a direct path from both to declining brain function. And it happens on two distinct levels.
We’ll call them internal and external:
INTERNAL: Your brain has some “use it or lose it” regions. When you don’t use certain functions, you can essentially lose those regions of the brain, at least to some degree. And the portions involved in processing sights and sound also happen to play roles in cognitive function, raising your dementia risks.
EXTERNAL: When people lose their hearing or vision, they often stop doing stuff, including visiting with friends and going out to run chores or for entertainment. These everyday activities are critical to keeping cognitively healthy as they stimulate your mind, much like exercise stimulates muscle growth.
But identifying these two often overlooked issues also means there’s a potential path leading right back out of this road to dementia.
Cut your dementia risks with 2 easy steps
Hearing and vision loss also have something else in common. Many folks are in DENIAL over them occurring.
We all know people who definitely need a pair of glasses… or a new prescription if they have them… yet won’t get it. Maybe it’s even yourself.
And we all know folks who would rather crank up the volume on the TV than admit they have hearing loss or need a hearing aid. (Sound familiar?)
So the biggest part of overcoming these risk factors often is admitting that you even have them. Because some people honestly don’t recognize their own limitations. Others just flat-out refuse to.
Either way, the important thing is to get your eyesight and hearing checked regularly.
If you need glasses… or cataract surgery… go ahead and get that taken care of. One study found painless and simple cataract surgery can cut the risk of dementia by up to 30 percent.
Similarly, research published in 2019 found that using hearing aids if you need them could cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 18 percent.
But brain issues aren’t the only negative thing hearing loss could trigger. In an earlier report, I shared how another risk can skyrocket by 60 percent when you don’t address your hearing problems.
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