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Covid takes toll on older people with hearing loss

Post on 21st April 2021

Emerging from lockdown restrictions is reason for hope and optimism but some are still struggling with the fallout from COVID-19.

Aside from the issues of the virus itself, there is growing evidence that people over 70 with hearing loss have experienced heightened depression, loneliness and memory problems.

Social isolation, cancelled medical appointments, the difficulties of communicating while wearing face masks and challenges with phone and video calls have all played a part according to a study published in the International Journal of Audiology.

It’s perhaps not surprising that the impact has been felt by this group and it has affected their mental wellbeing. The survey of people over 70 with mixed hearing abilities suggests they have been more substantially affected.

It has been a year like no other and the latest research underlines previous studies which found that hearing loss in older people puts them at greater risk of depression. Left untreated it can leave people feeling isolated, at risk of anxiety and it has links to increased risk of dementia.

One US study led by Columbia University, for example, found that people with mild hearing loss were almost twice as likely to have clinically significant symptoms of depression than those with normal hearing. The risks were four times greater for people with severe hearing loss.

Hearing loss is not uncommon; it affects more than 10 million people in the UK, and is more likely as we get older.

There is no cure but hearing loss can be treated. Even when life has not quite got back to normal there is help available and no need to suffer in silence.

NHS hearing tests and digital hearing aids are accessible on the high street. The support, information and new technology are all there to make a difference.

For professional and friendly advice on hearing care, please call into your local Scrivens branch. Our branches are open with Covid-secure measures in place.

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