You may be aware that hearing function decreases as one ages, but are you informed of the significant impact hearing loss has on health? A recent article released by the New York Times discusses the growing body of research linking hearing loss and ill-health.
A study by Johns Hopkins University found that those with untreated hearing loss were at a 50% increased risk of having dementia compared to those with no hearing loss, and a study by Nicholas S. Reed and colleagues found that untreated hearing loss resulted in more frequent and longer visits to the hospital. Hearing loss has also been shown to increase risk of falls, social isolation, and cardiovascular disease.
“Unfortunately, people tend to wait much too long to get their hearing tested and treated with hearing aids, and the longer they wait, the harder it is to treat hearing loss.” – Dr. Frank Lin, Johns Hopkins University
Stay tuned for World Hearing Day on March 3, where organizations such as the World Health Organization will raise awareness on how to prevent hearing loss and promote hearing care. The theme of World Hearing Day 2019 is “Check your hearing!” and the campaign will stress the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss.
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) acknowledges that poor hearing is not merely an inconvenience, but rather plays a substantial role in the wellbeing and function of older people. Contact IFA Expert Prof Antony Bayer, Professor of Geriatric Medicine in the Division of Population Medicine at Cardiff University for more information on the importance of hearing to health to older people.
Prof. Antony Bayer Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Cardiff University
Professor of Geriatric Medicine in the Division of Population Medicine in the School of Medicine at Cardiff University