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Regular hearing tests important to health in elderly
Date of article: 29-Sep-11
Article By: Good Care Group
While many elderly people undergo a regular visit to the optician as part of good health practice, many often neglect to include a hearing test as part of their established health regime.
This is partly due to eye deterioration being easier to recognise and partly because by asking people to speak up, incremental hearing loss can be more readily dismissed.
However, as those giving home care know – good hearing is important for a good quality of life for elderly people.
Recent research has even suggested that a decrease in hearing could accelerate dementia in vulnerable people. A study by Jonathan Peelle, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that hearing difficulties lead to reduced brain activity when listening to complex sentences. This may lead on to an increase in the rate of degeneration in the part of the brain that processes heard speech.
The neurological study adds weight to research carried out by the Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institute on Ageing in the United States, which measured a correlation between the development of dementia and hearing loss.
Good hearing has been shown to increase social interaction and a person’s sense of wellbeing. Regular hearing tests should be a part of any senior citizen’s health regime so that if they are experiencing difficulties, remedial action can be taken at an early stage.