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Hear this

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

A friend who I have known since infant school days in Wolverhampton broke his journey north to have chance for a catch up.

He is strikingly at least as tall as I remember, strong and elegant, thoughtful in all he does. He is worrying that his memory is not working as well as it did in the past. This, in combination with some hearing loss, is undermining his confidence and reducing the pleasure and confidence he can take from his viola.

There has been recent correspondence in the Guardian newspaper about the impact of hearing loss, and the benefits of hearing aids: ‘Any embarrassment is in your head!’: How hearing aids boost your health and happiness | Health & wellbeing | The Guardian

I am utterly grateful for my spectacles, utterly dependent on them to see print on the one hand, and – via another prescription – the television. But hearing aids have been another matter. I do not have a hearing problem but I have met many people over the years, who have become hard of hearing, and have found hearing aids impossible to cope with – ‘Dratted Implements’ rather than cherished salvation: Magnifying all sounds and filling the mind with something approaching white noise, amongst which important things and all nuance are submerged.

Things are so much better with the new generation of digital hearing aids.

And we have come to understand that hearing impairment adds to the likelihood of developing a dementia syndrome: Association between hearing aid use and all-cause and cause-specific dementia: an analysis of the UK Biobank cohort - The Lancet Public Health

We find that people who are hard of hearing and who do not wear hearing aids score on tests within the dementia range.

People who are hard of hearing but who do wear a hearing aid score within the normal range for their age. This is both astonishing and wonderful. A (fairly) simple physical intervention with minimal unwanted effects dispels the impairments associated with dementia.

Thanks for this understanding



Each week we post a blog from David Jolley where he shares his personal views on relevant subjects.

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