Swansea University's Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR) has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the connection between hearing loss and dementia.
Hearing loss can lead people to withdraw from everyday conversations and leave individuals feeling isolated, depriving their brains of the vital stimulation gained through talking to others.
Research suggests that managing hearing loss with hearing aids can dramatically reduce the risk and impact of dementia.
To support those experiencing hearing loss, CADR has collaborated with the Awen Institute and NHS Wales to create an animation which educates these individuals on the steps they can take.
CADR Director, Dr Andrea Tales, said: "The impact of hearing loss is often underrated, and many are unaware of its link to dementia.
"This co-produced animation is based on research evidence and is designed to highlight the importance of addressing problems with hearing, giving people the power to make positive choices.
"We hope this campaign encourages people to talk about these issues more freely and lets them know it's okay to contact their GP and audiologist to discuss their concerns and arrange a hearing assessment."
The animation explains the importance of people having their ears and hearing checked as early as possible, or if they already have hearing aids, to ensure they are in working order and being used regularly.
Jane Wild, Chair of Wales Audiology Heads of Service Group, said: "We are so pleased to see this new animation being launched.
"It will play a vital role in educating people on the connection between hearing loss and dementia, the value of seeking help and the use of hearing aids."
Kieran Walshe, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, added: "Without research, we wouldn't know how strong the link is between hearing loss and dementia.
"Research provides crucial opportunities to consider health and wellbeing as a whole and make connections between seemingly disparate issues, leading to deeper understanding and better outcomes."