Difficulty hearing conversations in a noisy room increases dementia risk

People who find it difficult to hear conversation in a noisy environment are twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, a new study finds.

Health data from more than 82,000 participants over the age of 60 were studied by experts at the University of Oxford looking for risk factors for dementia.

They found that difficulty hearing spoken conversations, especially in a noisy environment, is associated with an up to 91 percent increased risk of dementia.

According to the World Health Organization, hearing loss affects approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide, with mounting evidence that it may be a risk of dementia.

This prompted the Oxford team to dive into the UK Biobank dataset, where they found that having difficulty following conversations in a noisy environment was a risk factor for dementia that could be ‘treated’ and could potentially prevent the condition. can stop.

Experts say anyone concerned about their hearing should contact their primary care physician.

The study authors did not say why dementia risk increased in people with hearing problems in a noisy environment, but ruled out isolation as the cause.

People who find it difficult to hear conversation in a noisy environment are twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, a new study finds.

WHAT IS SPEECH IN NOISE HEARING LOSS?

The most common form of hearing loss is difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments.

It is known as hidden hearing loss, or simply speech-in-noise difficulty.

It can be difficult to diagnose as standard hearing tests cannot measure this type of hearing loss and there is no approved treatment.

The most common cause of this type of hearing loss is noise exposure and aging.

Over time they damage the cochlea and this can be measured with standard tests, but before this damage gets serious there are subtle changes in hearing.

This includes difficulty picking out speech when there is a lot of background noise.

It can cause patients to feel isolated in social situations or even have difficulty hearing announcements at an airport or train station.

There is also some evidence that this is both a symptom and a risk factor in older adults for dementia.

As people get older, hearing becomes more difficult, and an important part of this is having difficulty hearing speech in a loud environment.

This can have an impact on their daily functioning, including difficulty hearing announcements or becoming isolated due to difficulties in social situations.

The problem has also been shown to be a symptom of dementia in some people struggling with the devastating condition.

Until now, however, it was unclear whether difficulty hearing speech-in-noise was associated with developing dementia, as well as with a symptom.

This has now been thoroughly investigated in a new study led by the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH).

At the start of the study, participants were asked to identify spoken numbers against a background of white noise.

Based on this test, the researchers grouped them into normal, insufficient, and poor speech-in-noise hearing.

Over 11 years of follow-up, 1,285 participants were found to develop dementia based on hospital admissions and death records.

Inadequate and poor hearing with speech in noise was associated with a 61 percent and 91 percent increased risk of developing dementia.

This is compared to normal hearing in speech in noise.

dr. Thomas Littlejohns, senior author, said: ‘Dementia affects millions of people worldwide, and the number of cases is expected to triple in the coming decades.

‘However, there is mounting evidence that developing dementia is not inevitable and that the risk can be reduced by treating pre-existing conditions.

“Although preliminary, these results suggest that hearing impairment in noise may be a promising target for dementia prevention.”

dr. Jonathan Stevenson, lead author of the study, said difficulty hearing speech in background noise is one of the most common problems for people with age-related hearing loss.

dr. Katy Stubbs of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that while most people think of memory problems when they hear the word dementia, it’s not the only symptom.

Health data from more than 82,000 participants over the age of 60 were studied by experts from the University of Oxford looking for risk factors for dementia

Health data from more than 82,000 participants over the age of 60 were studied by experts from the University of Oxford looking for risk factors for dementia

“Many people with dementia will have difficulty following speech in a noisy environment — a symptom sometimes referred to as the ‘cocktail party problem,’ she said.

“This study suggests that these hearing changes may not only be a symptom of dementia, but also a risk factor that could potentially be treated.”

“Large studies such as the UK Biobank are powerful tools for identifying genetic, health and lifestyle factors linked to conditions such as dementia,” she explained.

“But it’s always difficult to distinguish cause and effect in this kind of research,” adding that “anyone concerned about their hearing should talk to their primary care physician.”

The findings were published in in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLER DISEASE THAT DEPRIVES SUFFERING OF THEIR MEMORIES

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

A GLOBAL CARE

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (affecting the brain) that affect memory, thinking, and behavior.

There are many different forms of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common.

Some people may have a combination of dementias.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person experiences their dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global problem, but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live very old.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE SHOWN?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, more than 500,000 of whom have Alzheimer’s disease.

It is estimated that the number of people with dementia in the UK will rise to over 1 million by 2025.

There are an estimated 5.5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the US. A similar percentage increase is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of developing dementia.

The number of diagnoses is improving, but it is thought that many people with dementia are still undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently, there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow progression, and the sooner it’s noticed, the more effective treatments are.

Source: Alzheimer’s Society

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