The British Academy of Audiology reports that about 11 million people in the UK suffer from hearing loss. The report notes that hearing loss now ranks as the UK's second most common disability. It also states that the authorities and the general public tend to ignore the issue since it's "invisible." Sadly, the report says hearing loss and accidental injury also go hand in hand.
A Hearing Impairment May Increase the Risk of Injury
Medics consider hearing and vision loss as naturally occurring due to aging. Nevertheless, such conditions can adversely affect the quality of life and increase the risk of injury.
A report from the British Department for Work and Pensions & Office for Disability Issues published in 2015 indicated that hearing loss exposed victims to specific dangers and risk of injury during a fire. The report noted that people with hearing disabilities have challenges accessing essential health services in a time of need.
Considering the report, the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service decided to work closely with the Deaf Support Network (DSN) to improve their emergency response. In one incident, a deaf or hard-of-hearing resident made frantic calls to the Cheshire fire station, only succeeding after countless efforts. The Cheshire Fire Department eventually acted to prevent harm and injury to the distressed individual.
The incident highlighted a disturbing lack of understanding from the Fire Department and the Cheshire Deaf Community that needed urgent resolution to prevent injury in the future.
Hearing Loss Can Cause and Even Worsen Dementia
Another UK study shows a strong link between hearing loss and dementia. It shows persons with strong hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. The likelihood increases three-fold for people with moderate loss. The Lin et al. 2011 report further says that the reasons for this situation aren't clear. It, however, identifies communication difficulties as a possible culprit since hearing loss and dementia cause communication challenges.
Further, the study indicates both dementia and hearing loss can cause social isolation. The problem might worsen in a situation where a person lives with both conditions. For example, sufferers may hesitate to participate in specific activities or attend social functions since their memory and hearing make social situations considerably uncomfortable.
Ultimately, if a person living with dementia feels unable to communicate their problems with hearing, they're likely to be frustrated, distressed, and more aggressive.
While many who are deaf and hard of hearing live relatively healthy lives overall, there are greater risks. Be mindful of reducing your risks when possible, to keep in good health. Get in touch with Pritesh and the team to find out more about your hearing today.