A recent study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of Public Health discovered that older adults living with untreated hearing loss were more likely to suffer from dementia compared to those using hearing aids. The findings of the study, which were taken from a pool of 2400 adults aged 60
and above, reflect those found in previous research such as the University of Oxford’s 2021 report which also highlighted the link between hearing loss and increased chances of dementia. The results of the study showed that the prevalence of dementia was 61% higher in participants with moderate/severe hearing loss compared to those with normal hearing. The use of hearing aids
among the participants led to a 32% lower prevalence of dementia in those with severe or moderate hearing loss.
While both the Johns Hopkins study and the University ofOxford study were unable to identify a clear reason for the link between severe hearing loss and dementia, it has been suggested that communicative impairments such as hearing loss and speech problems could lead to social isolation and thereby an increased likelihood of developing dementia. A 2020 study by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported that many adults aged 50 and over were 50% more likely to suffer from dementia if they were experiencing social isolation.
Identifying hearing loss
Hearing loss is a gradual process that happens over time andmany people only act on it once the issue is noticeable. Some signs that you might be suffering from hearing loss include:
- Difficulty keeping up with conversations andfrequently asking people to repeat themselves.
- Increased volume when watching television orlistening to music.
- Finding it increasingly difficult to understandspeech, especially in noisy environments.
- Feelings of stress or tiredness due to having toconcentrate whilst listening.
If you have noticed any changes to your hearing, we wouldrecommend having your hearing checked by a qualified audiologist. Getting your hearing tested regularly (every two years) means that hearing loss can be identified and addressed early on, minimising its impact on your quality of life.
At Bexhill Hearing Centre, our experienced Clinical Ear Careteam are trained to recognise and treat a variety of ear health issues using our medical-grade equipment. If you have concerns about your hearing health or are currently experiencing difficulties with your hearing, then book an appointment with one of our expert team today by calling 01424733030.