Did You Know

 

Hearing Loss associated with


more hospital stays in older


age...

 

In Ireland, the HSE estimate that 8% of all adults, approximately 270,000 people, have a disabling hearing loss.

Hearing Loss associated with more hospital stays in older age.
Mind Your Hearing

Older adults with hearing loss are more likely than peers with normal hearing to require hospitalisation and suffer from periods of inactivity and depression, according to results of a new study by experts at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The findings have recently been reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

  DeafHear.ie A UK survey reveals almost half of patients diagnosed with hearing loss don?t receive treatment. 2014

 

The four year study involved tests on 1,140 men and women aged 70 and older with hearing loss, and 529 men and women aged over 70 with normal hearing. The results showed that those with hearing loss were 32 per cent more likely to have been admitted to a hospital than those with normal hearing. The findings are believed to be the first to show the broader, economic and long-term effects of hearing loss on general health.

“Hearing loss may have a profoundly detrimental effect on older people’s physical and mental well–being, and even health care resources,” says senior study investigator Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D. “Our results underscore why hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of ageing, but an important issue for public health,” says Lin. He also said that two- thirds of men and women aged 70 years and older, suffer from some form of hearing loss. In Ireland, the HSE estimate that 8% of all adults, approximately 270,000 people, have a disabling hearing loss.

Other key findings included that older adults with hearing loss were 36% more likely to have prolonged stretches of illness or injury (lasting more than 10 days), and 57% more likely to have deep episodes of stress, depression or bad mood (for more than 10 days).

Lin says social isolation resulting from hearing loss may explain the physical and mental declines – as well as the cognitive deficits – that afflict older adults. This, in turn, may lead to more illness and hospitalization, he says. His team already has further research under way to see if treating hearing loss with counselling and hearing aids can reduce people’s risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

DeafHear’s Head of Information Brendan Lennon says this study shows that we need to take an active population health approach to hearing loss. “We know that people wait up to ten years between the onset of a hearing loss and taking action. We now know that this not only adds to the personal burden, but also involves significant economic costs.” The earlier people get fitted with hearing aids, the easier they find it to get used to them, he added. Lots of studies have shown that the fitting of hearing aids and the use of other assistive technology significantly enhances the quality of life and independence of people with acquired hearing loss.