Wednesday March 27, 2019

Hearing Loss May up Cognitive Decline with Age, Says Study

Moderate-to-severe hearing impairment was associated with steeper cognitive decline regardless of education level, the researchers said

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Here is good news for women who are suffering from hearing loss. A new study has found that consuming healthy food may decrease the risk of hearing loss in women.
Healthy Diet to Decrease HearingLoss in Women, Pixabay

Hearing impairment is associated with accelerated cognitive decline with age, though the impact of mild hearing loss may be lessened by higher education, researchers say.

The findings suggest that those with more serious hearing impairment had worse performance at the initial visit on a pair of commonly used cognitive assessment tests.

However, the association of mild hearing impairment with rate of cognitive decline was modified by education, said the researchers at University of California, San Diego.

“We surmise that higher education may provide sufficient cognitive reserve to counter the effects of mild hearing loss, but not enough to overcome effects of more severe hearing impairment,” said senior author Linda K. McEvoy, Professor at the varsity.

For the study, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Series A Medical Sciences, the research team tracked 1,164 participants with a mean age 73.5 years of whom 64 per cent were women.

hearing loss
Mild hearing impairment was associated with steeper decline among study participants without a college education.

All had undergone assessments for hearing accuracy and cognitive function between 1992 and 1996 and had up to five subsequent cognitive assessments at approximately four-year intervals. None used a hearing aid.

They found that almost half of the participants had mild hearing impairment, with 16.8 per cent suffering moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

The team said that mild hearing impairment was associated with steeper decline among study participants without a college education, but not among those with higher education.

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Mild hearing impairment was associated with steeper decline among study participants without a college education, but not among those with higher education.

Moderate-to-severe hearing impairment was associated with steeper cognitive decline regardless of education level, the researchers said. (IANS)

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According to UN, 1 Billion People Risk Hearing Loss from Loud Music

That study, she says, focused on the listening habits of young people and the volume of sound to which they were generally exposed.

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Loud Music, Hearing Loss
U.N. agencies warn listening to loud music is unsafe and can cause permanent damage to hearing. VOA

U.N. agencies warn that more than 1 billion people ages 12 to 35 risk losing their hearing from listening to loud music on their audio devices. The World Health Organization, and the International Telecommunication Union, are launching new international standards to make smartphones and other devices safer for listening.

Listening to music is one of life’s greatest pleasures. U.N. health experts say they do not want to deprive younger people of the enjoyable experience of listening to music regularly on their headphones. But they warn listening to loud music is unsafe and can cause permanent damage to hearing.

The World Health Organization says it has no clear evidence that 1.1 billion people are at risk of developing hearing problems. However, WHO technical officer for the prevention of deafness and hearing loss Shelly Chadha said the figure is based on a study conducted four years ago.

Hearing Loss
The World Health Organization says it has no clear evidence that 1.1 billion people are at risk of developing hearing problems. Pixabay

That study, she says, focused on the listening habits of young people and the volume of sound to which they were generally exposed. She said this information has been valuable in working on solutions for preventing hearing loss.

“So, our effort through this standard is really to empower the user to make the right listening choice and decision, either to practice safe listening or to take the risk of developing hearing loss and tinnitus down the line.

The main recommendations for safe listening include having software on personal audio devices that measures how long and how loudly a user has been listening to music. They also call for automatic volume reduction systems on smartphones and other devices, as well as parental volume control.

The U.N. agencies say they hope governments and manufacturers will adopt the suggested standards, as disabling hearing loss is set to increase significantly in the coming years.

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The WHO and ITU report 466 million people suffer from the disability, most in low- and middle-income countries. It estimates the number will rise to more than 900 million people by 2050. The agencies say half of all cases of hearing loss can be prevented through public health measures. (VOA)