Hearing loss, dementia link
THREE-quarters of people over the age of 70 have age-related hearing loss and research suggests this may also be connected to dementia.
Two researchers from Murdoch University are studying the link between the two and they need participants with and without hearing loss.
The study is being conducted in Subiaco, Mt Lawley and Joondalup, through the Ear Science Institute of Australia.
Esmeralda Nel and Danelia Kok are honours students who are working with people aged 40 to 85 to see whether using hearing aids or cochlear implants to treat hearing loss would affect cognitive function.
Ms Nel said untreated hearing loss could make people socially isolated, particularly as understanding speech could become difficult in noisy environments.
It can also be dangerous, as it may mean people had trouble hearing fire alarms or a kettle boiling, with all these factors significantly impacting a person’s quality of life.
“A cause of concern is the increasing numbers of adults above the age of 65 that have a hearing loss associated with cognitive decline,” Ms Nel said.
“Studies have shown that people with a hearing loss may have an increased risk for all-cause dementia.”
As part of this pilot study, which is planned to lead to a bigger one, participants, who must have been speaking Australian English for at least 10 years, will receive a free hearing screening.
Contact 0409 623 367 or firstname.lastname@example.org soft.com to find out more or join the study.