Study suggests hearing loss increases risk of dementia
Campaign to stop scrapping of health and safety laws
Around 20% of adults suffer from hearing loss, though for many, the loss is mild. For those over 80, hearing loss is more likely to be moderate to severe. Hearing loss is disruptive to a person’s life, as well as a possible dementia risk.
The study found that dual sensory impairment of both hearing and sight was a greater risk for dementia than hearing loss alone. Fortunately, mild to moderate hearing loss can be corrected in most cases by wearing a hearing aid, and the study suggests that the associated dementia risk will also be reduced.
The writers of the study recognize the need for prevention strategies. Many workplaces are noisy environments and can cause hearing damage. This is straightforward to deal with. If it is not practical to reduce noise levels, workers must wear ear defenders, preferably good quality ones that are comfortable to wear.
For anyone concerned that their hearing may be deficient, the hearing loss charity RNI:D has a free online test, allowing users to check their hearing in just three minutes. Accurate results are achieved by wearing headphones in a quiet place while taking the test. If the test has negative results, this could mean that a hearing aid is required.
To prevent further loss of hearing, wear decent quality earplugs or ear defenders in noisy places or at loud music concerts.
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