Hidden Hearing is gifting sunflowers on World Alzheimer’s Day, Monday 21 September, to support dementia patients and their families, and highlight the connection between untreated hearing loss and dementia.
According to the 2020 report of the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, the risk of dementia can be cut by one third by treating hearing loss.
Dolores Madden, an audiologist with Hidden Hearing says; “Hearing health is hugely important, as we get older, not least because the use of a hearing aid prevents cognitive decline which helps in the delay of dementia. So too, reducing hearing loss in the first place, by avoiding excessive noise, is also among the Lancet report recommendations We are delighted to be raising awareness around this important issue and giving a special gift to those who are affected by Alzheimer’s in Ireland.”
Hidden Hearing is collaborating with Galway business, Bloom in a Box, this World Alzheimer’s Day to brighten the day for people affected by Alzheimer’s with a gift of a single bloom, presented in an elegant gift box. Families and carers can apply on www.hiddenhearing.ie to receive a sunflower bloom*, known by florists as happy flowers that are as warm and beautiful as the sun, and symbolise longevity, love and energy.
Bloom in a Box owner, Aveline O’ Sullivan, says; “Our company is delighted to be part of a campaign that celebrates and remembers all of those affected by Alzheimer’s, from carers and families, to patients themselves.”
Irish Ignore Hearing Loss
Recent research by Hidden Hearing in Ireland* shows people are failing to acknowledge and treat hearing loss. The survey showed significant delays in having hearing tests and seeking treatment, combined with reluctance to use a hearing aid when needed.
Shocking findings include the fact that 35% with hearing loss do not have treatment at all. 22% wait five years or more before seeking help and only 25% with hearing loss actually use hearing aids when they are recommended.
The problem with ignoring hearing loss is that it has implications for our wider health and safety, and for that of others, according to audiologist Dolores Madden.
“Medical research has linked impaired hearing to heart health, stroke and diabetes, with depression and social isolation also knock-on impacts of untreated hearing problems”, Dolores Madden says, adding that it makes no sense to ignore a risk factor for disease, like hearing loss, that is easy to address.
One Third Over 64 Have Significant Hearing Loss
Around 15% of the Irish population suffer some degree of hearing loss, with men more likely to, than women. 35% of people aged over 64 have a significant hearing loss and, in the over 75s, 50% will have age-related hearing loss.
Scientists are still trying to work out precisely how hearing loss affects the brain and contributes to dementia. One accepted reason for the link is that hearing loss makes sufferers more likely to avoid social interaction, which is a risk factor for dementia, because it reduces the amount of brain stimulation a person gets.
Isolation, in turn, can lead to depression, which is another known association with the disease. Conversely, the more social contact an individual over the age of 50 has, the less likely they are to develop dementia.
Hidden Hearing offers free tests and encourages anyone worried about their hearing to make an appointment on www.hiddenhearing.ie or freephone 1800 882 884. They also provide details of grants for medical card holders, tax relief and the PRSI treatment benefit.