There are many associations between hearing loss and dementia. GP’s will need to test for hearing loss in a patient presenting for possible dementia as a loss of hearing needs to be eliminated before testing for other causes of confusion.
A study by Frank Lin, M.D., PhD* in 2011 of 639 individuals who underwent audiometric testing and were dementia free in 1990 to 1994 was conducted (approximately one quarter had some level of hearing loss). The subjects were closely measured year on year and 58 cases of incident all-cause dementia were diagnosed in 2008. The conclusions of the study were that hearing loss is independently associated with incident all-cause dementia which increased linearly with the severity of baseline hearing loss. The researchers found that volunteers with hearing loss at the start of the research were significantly more likely to develop dementia by the end of the study.
“A lot of people ignore hearing loss because it’s such a slow and insidious process as we age, even if people feel as if they are not affected, we’re showing that it may well be a more serious problem.” says Mr Lin, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Lin said in a later study that only 15 percent of those who need a hearing aid get one, which he feels, leaves much of the problem and its ramifications untreated.**
Regardless of age, it’s vitally important to get your hearing checked regularly. Hidden Hearing offer free hearing health checks to all with absolutely no obligation simple click on this link to apply for your free hearing test. www.hiddenhearing.org