May 5, 2015
May is Wellness Month!
Here are some interesting facts on Hearing, especially amongst seniors:
Prevalence of hearing loss
- Nearly 1 out of every 4 adult Canadians reports having some hearing loss, although closer to 10% of people actually identify themselves as culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing. (CHS Awareness Survey 2002)
- 530,210 people in Ontario (4.74% of the population) are deaf or hard of hearing. (Canada Census 2006)
- Approximately 4 in 1,000 Canadian babies are born with some degree of hearing loss or will develop early progressive childhood hearing loss. (Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2007).
- Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Its prevalence rises with age – 46% of people aged 45 to 87 have hearing loss. (Cruickshanks et al. 1998)
- Aging is the number one cause of hearing loss and the incidence of hearing loss is poised to climb dramatically as our population ages. The number of older adults aged 65 and over in Ontario is projected to be 4.1 million, or 23.4%, by 2036.
- Canadians who identify themselves as culturally Deaf comprise more than 350,000 people across Canada. (Canadian Association of the Deaf, 2007)
- According to Statistics Canada, more than one million adults across the country reported having a hearing-related disability, a number more than 50% greater than the number of people reporting problems with their eyesight (StatsCan, 2002). Other studies indicate that the true number may reach three million or more Canadian adults, as those suffering from hearing problems often under-report their condition.
The impact of hearing loss on older adults
- With unmanaged hearing loss, older adults may become withdrawn and socially isolated which can lead to the breakdown of support networks and the risk of depression.
- Older adults with unmanaged hearing loss are at an increased risk of cognitive decline and developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. However, there is encouraging evidence that hearing assistance, such as a hearing aid, can improve the lives of even those with significant dementia.
- Research has revealed that there is a greater risk of falling with hearing loss, and the risk of falling increases with the severity of the hearing loss.
- 90% of people with hearing loss can improve communication with a properly fitted hearing aid, counselling or environmental changes.
For some interesting information on the causes of hearing loss in seniors visit http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0615/p1150.html
For more posts like these, visit the Physical Wellness page.