Hearing Loss & Dementia
There is a growing body of research to suggest that hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia; and other studies even show that using hearing aids can actually slow down and delay this risk. Approximately 430 million people worldwide have a hearing loss severe enough to require some form of rehabilitation. Learning about the risk factors for diseases such as Alzheimer’s is essential, especially when they are modifiable like hearing loss. This means there are measures and precautions we can take to minimise the risk of developing this awful disease.
One major component of a hearing loss is struggling to hear in background noise situations, such as at a busy restaurant. This can make most social situations very difficult for people with a hearing loss, but until now it was unclear whether difficulty hearing speech-in-noise was associated with developing dementia. The University of Oxford have led a robust investigation which has recently been published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The study consisted of approximately 82,000 individuals aged 60 or over, with no current signs of dementia. At the beginning of the longitudinal study, they were asked to identify numbers against a background of white noise. Based on this test, they were grouped as either normal, insufficient or poor speech-in-noise hearing. The key findings of this study were as follows:
- Over the 11 years, 1285 patients developed dementia
- Insufficient speech-in-noise hearing individuals were associated with a 61% increased risk of developing dementia compared to normal speech-in-noise hearing individuals
- Poor speech-in-noise hearing individuals were associated with a 91% increased risk of developing dementia compared to normal speech-in-noise hearing individuals
For the full study, please click here.
If you are in any way concerned about your hearing, it is best not to delay. Call us today on 01223 360700 to book a Full Hearing Test, or visit our online booking page here.