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Hearing loss and dementia

Hearing loss has recently been described by American researchers as “A Silent Epidemic”. It’s on the rise and often overlooked, even by doctors. Perhaps it has been thought too long to be just a natural part of getting older.  Unfortunately, though, uncorrected hearing loss increases your chances of getting other conditions, including dementia.

Researchers think that uncorrected hearing loss doubles your chances of getting dementia, although it may actually be a consequence of hearing loss making someone more isolated and getting depression, as well as changes in brain structures. 

Despite this knowledge, most people who could correct their hearing with hearing aids, don’t do so, or decide that they will but ”later”. There’s lots of scientific evidence showing that its easier and more beneficial to use hearing aids sooner than later. We accept that sort of information when it comes to physical exercise. Hearing exercises the brain. The prominent and prestigious Lancet Commission on Dementia found that 9% of cases of dementia could be avoided by attention to hearing loss.

One of the worlds most accurate tests of hearing is to ask yourself the question; ”Do I ever have trouble hearing?”  If the answer is “Yes” then you really should consider hearing aids. If anyone at all says “You’re not bad enough” Ignore them, although you do need to have a certain level of hearing loss to qualify for free Government hearing aids.  That’s an economic issue, not a hearing issue. If you are eligible for Government free hearing aids, then my advice is to get them. There are free hearing tests on line if you need any confirmation. One of the very few that is scientifically validated is at blameysaunders.com.au

The results tell you which sounds of speech you hear well, and which sounds you miss.  It’s much more informative than a test of hearing beeps.

The overall message is that having hearing loss, and not correcting it, increases your chances of getting dementia. So my advice is to beat the silent epidemic and take action on hearing loss.

 

Want to read more about hearing? See this article – Hearing loss is common