A hearing loss charity has called for urgent action to improve access to hearing technologies for older adults.
The Ear Foundation has released a report called Bending the Spend, which calls for improvements in treating adults aged over 65 with hearing loss to avoid dementia, depression and reduce the risk of life threatening falls.
The charity calls for the government to rethink the way that money is spent in tackling hearing problems and to invest in better devices to aid hearing. Research by the Ear Foundation has found that over £92million a year has already been saved through the reduced use of GPs and social services when patients are fitted with the correct devices.
Sue Archbold, the chief executive of the Ear Foundation, said: 'Hearing is one of the most acute unmet needs in terms of the health of older people today as people face a greater risk from health problems and the social isolation of deafness.'
The research shows that money for making these improvements could be found from making sure that people with hearing loss problems are properly assessed.
According to the World Health Organization, by 2030 adult hearing loss will be in the UK's top 10 disease burdens above diabetes and cataracts. Those with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing.