14 September 2015
Minister for Health, Leo Veradkar launched ‘Mind your Hearing’ campaign in Trinity College. The campaign aims to reduce the time people delay in addressing their hearing loss.
People wait an average of ten years to address their hearing loss, which impacts significantly on their general health and wellbeing. The campaign has been organised by DeafHear in association with Hearing Loss Ireland, ISHAA and the HSE.
In the campaign video a number of individuals recount their experience of hearing loss and Prof Sabina Brennan explains that age-related hearing loss is associated with poor cognitive performance and advocates booking a hearing test if you have any concerns about your hearing.
“While people are living longer, thanks in some part to scientific advancement, failing mental function frequently impairs the quality of those extra years.
Actually decline in cognitive abilities, like memory and attention, represent the most profound threat to active and healthy ageing.
Hearing loss is common in older adults something that can also impact on the quality of our lives making it difficult to communicate with family and friends.
Age-related hearing loss is also associated with poor cognitive performance, with incident dementia and may actually contribute to cognitive decline.
What many people don’t know is that research is showing that ‘modifiable’ lifestyle factors, things that we can change ourselves, can help to protect brain health. So simple lifestyle changes, attitude adjustment, physical exercise, mental stimulation and even social engagement can boost our brain health and may act as a buffer against decline in brain function?
Lets take social engagement as an example. People who are socially active are less likely to develop cognitive impairment
- Just 10 minutes of social interaction can increase your brain performance.
- Simple social interaction may deliver greater benefits for your brain than solving crossword puzzles
People with more social ties live longer, have better health and are less depressed. The bad news is that loneliness & social isolation are as bad as smoking and obesity
The good news is that staying socially engaged and getting involved in social activities is not only rewarding but also helps to maintain brain health and may actually lower your risk of developing dementia.
So if you are experiencing hearing loss that is impacting on your ability to stay socially active or to communicate with your family and friends then the best advice is to address this as soon as possible. Book yourself a hearing test or consider getting a hearing aid.”