New research revealing how wearing a hearing aid in middle age can lessen the risk of dementia has been welcomed as a “desperately needed” message for Irish consumers.
Earlier this week, the University of Exeter released a study analysing data on 25,000 volunteers aged 50 and over. The findings provide early evidence that encouraging people to wear an effective hearing aid may help to protect their brains and reduce their risk of dementia. Teodora, who is based at the Hidden Hearing clinic in Artane, Dublin, explains: “Most people are unaware that you hear with your brain, not just your ears. There is still a huge stigma in this country about wearing a hearing device “This is just the latest of several studies to find a link between improved hearing and improved brain power but people are absolutely shocked when I mention this during a consultation. “I’ve witnessed at first hand the benefits that a new hearing aid can bring to dementia patients. It’s a very emotional moment when you see them being able to understand something as simple as a funny joke.”
Irish people are not aware of the links between hearing loss and dementia
76% of Irish people are not aware of the links between dementia and hearing loss.
These findings were published by Hidden Hearing as part of a global survey. You can download the full survey here.
Those with hearing loss can often be in denial and withdraw socially to disguise the fact that they can’t hear clearly. The message about looking after your hearing health is not getting out to Irish people, but it’s desperately needed. The brain’s ability to process auditory stimuli is affected by ageing which is why we at Hidden Hearing encourage everyone aged 50 and over to get their hearing tested. We think nothing of getting our eyesight examined from a very young age, yet people feel embarrassed about seeking help when it comes to hearing loss. But as this study shows, the sooner you get tested the better. Wearing a hearing aid keeps your brain active and that’s crucial in helping to preserve your memory function. Click here to read the full study here.