Help a Loved One with Hearing Loss
It’s natural to want to help someone with hearing loss. Being around someone who struggles to hear can be frustrating. It puts a strain on friends and family, especially when you know that better hearing can improve their quality of life and yours.
Untreated hearing loss can cause a person to lose confidence, withdraw socially, become isolated or even depressed. What appears to be memory loss or dementia may be hearing loss. Depending on the cause of the hearing loss, a person’s balance may be affected.
Trying to get a loved one to take action and deal with their hearing loss isn’t always easy (do the words stubborn and pride come to mind?), but it’s the right thing to do.
We’ve helped concerned family members and friends, just like you, who want to share the gift of better hearing. We can walk you through what to do and say. Don’t wait to help someone suffering from symptoms like these. Be proactive.
Talk to the experts.
Talk to the experts.
How can you help?
- Share your concerns about their hearing with them. Be tactful and be aware that it’s normal for people to become defensive when you bring up the subject. No one likes to admit it’s their hearing that’s a problem.
- Encourage them to visit a hearing expert, but don’t get into an argument about it, that’s a lose-lose battle. Mention it and then move to the next step.
- Call and schedule an appointment with us. Then let your loved one know you did it for them. Most people appreciate your concern and will come in to talk to us and get a hearing test.
- 1 out of 20 will flat out refuse to go, which tells you that this isn’t a priority for them or their pride is still getting in the way. Remind them that if they see the audiologist and the hearing tests show they don’t have a hearing loss, that would be good news!
Need suggestions about how to have these conversations? Talk to us.
People with hearing loss are up to five times more likely to develop dementia, a study finds.
Hearing loss and dementia
Compared with individuals with normal hearing, people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia.
People with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss are 2, 3 and 5 times more likely to develop dementia respectively than people with normal hearing.
Even after taking into account other factors that are associated with high risk of dementia, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, age, sex and race, hearing loss and dementia are still strongly associated.
The findings are found in a study published in 2011 made by Frank Lin, otolaryngologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the US. He and his team followed 639 patients for 18 years. None of the subjects had cognitive impairments at the beginning of the study, although some did have a certain degree of hearing loss. During the 18 years of follow up, 58 cases of dementia were diagnosed amongst the 639 patients.
Increased risk with increased hearing loss
Another study, published in 2012 by Gallacher et al, has confirmed these findings. In this study, 1057 men were followed for a period of 17 years. Their hearing loss was evaluated at the start of the study and then again after 9 years, in which both cognition and dementia were assessed. The authors found a strong relationship between hearing loss and both dementia and cognitive decline. For every 10 dB (A) of increasing hearing loss, compared to normal hearing level for that age, the risk of developing dementia increased 2.7 fold.
Source: ”Hearing well to train your brain” by Prof. Frank R. Lin and Prof. Sophia E. Krame