Study shows close relationship between deafness and dementia. Patients who lose their hearing aids are being charged between £50-£100 for a replacement.

The Daily Mirror’s Miriam Stoppard reports 14th March 2013:

“The worse the hearing loss, the greater the risk – and this link ­remained  true irrespective of age, diabetes and high blood pressure.”

“Does it drive you mad when you’re out for the evening and it’s so noisy you  can’t hear a word anyone says? It does me.

You spend the whole time trying to convert sounds into words, then words into  sense, leaving you ­exhausted after a couple of hours.

New research shows that the e­ffort expended by the brain in doing this  leaves it tired, so it has no processing power left over.

Just think what it would be like if you spent your whole life straining to  catch what other people said – in other words, if you were hard of hearing.

A study at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, US has clarified the toll  this straining takes. It’s ­illuminating, but saddening.

The scientists found that there was a close relationship between ­hearing  loss and dementia.”…..

This was followed up in The New York Times (Pamela Belluck) on 11th Feb 2013:

“Could Hearing Loss and Dementia Be Connected?”

Action on Hearing Loss (RNID – Royal National Institute for the Deaf) has published a report:

JOINING UP – Why people with hearing loss or deafness would benefit from an integrated response to long-term conditions

Ted Leverton has commented in another post:

Patients who lose their hearing aids are being charged between £50-£100 for a replacement. This is the case with several of our local providers under the AQP (Any Qualified Provider) system, including the hospital audiology department.

Most of our hearing impaired population are elderly. It has often been a struggle for their families to encourage them to get HS hearing aids in the first place. The hearing aids reduce isolation and accidents, improve concordance with medication, and provide stimulation which slows memory loss.” (How to use Hearing Aids and what to expect)

He does on to say:

“Yesterday I visited a residential home and spent an hour teaching Care Assistants about hearing aids. They were enthusiastic, keen to learn, practical and focussed.

However they felt badly let down by professional NHS nurses who had repeatedly failed to provide them with support, and by GPs whose response had been ‘Well, it’s up to the nurses”.

I have to admit that I have lost a hearing aid, in a hire car whilst on holiday in Spain, and then paid for a replacement. One of the other problems is the batteries, and the sound that the hearing aid makes is so high pitched that those with high tone deafness cannot hear it. I rely on my wife to detect when I have inadvertently left it on! Battery replacements are available through the post on the NHS in our region, but I expect they could be another target for rationing in some areas.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

2 thoughts on “Study shows close relationship between deafness and dementia. Patients who lose their hearing aids are being charged between £50-£100 for a replacement.

  1. Ted

    Thanks for this posting, Roger. I’d be pleased to help if I can anyone who needs tips or advice about their hearing loss. It comes to us all!

  2. Pingback: NHS to begin denying people hearing aids for first time – politicians will still deny it…. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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