Older people who do not have their hearing checked are more likely to experience health complications according to a new report by hearing loss charities.
Action on Hearing Loss and The Ear Foundation has called for a national hearing screening programme to identify hearing loss earlier and reduce the number of co-morbidities. These include dementia, mental health issues, increased falls, social isolation and even early death.
A survey of 188 adults with hearing loss found that three quarters (76%) of them agreed that everyone should have their hearing checked as they get older.
Sue Archbold, co-author of the report and chief executive of The Ear Foundation said: ‘We now have a national action plan on hearing loss for England,which recognises the importance of early intervention to address the impact of hearing loss. But we still don’t have a strategy on hearing screening for older adults.’
Research has showed that people often live for up to 10 years before being diagnosed with hearing problems. However, the earlier people are fitted with hearing aids, the less likely they are to experience other complications. Earlier intervention could also save the NHS millions in treating associated complications, according to the charity.