Audiologists are urging people in South Devon to know the signs and symptoms of dementia.
During World Alzheimer’s Month, Specsavers teams that deliver eye and hearing tests in people’s homes have been raising awareness about research showing that people with age-related hearing loss who wear a hearing aid can maintain better brain function over time than those who don’t – which could help to reduce their risk of dementia.
Gordon Harrison, chief audiologist at Specsavers, says: ‘Hearing loss has similar symptoms to early signs of dementia, with people struggling to communicate.
‘People with moderate-to-severe hearing loss are up to five times as likely to develop dementia. We also know that hearing loss can speed up the onset of dementia or make the symptoms of dementia appear worse.
‘This is why regular hearing tests are so important in helping to reduce the risk. The earlier any problems are identified, the sooner protective measures like hearing aids can be introduced.’
Listening is shown to be a powerful tool in helping these who are living with dementia, including supporting language skills and memory.
Specsavers Home Visits offers free eye tests at home for anyone who is eligible, including many people living with dementia. Regular eye tests can help people to keep their brain active by helping them maintain their hobbies, and can also reduce the risk of falls.
Dawn Roberts, clinical director for Specsavers Home Visits, says: ‘We know that living with dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life, as well as those who care for them. Everyday activities which may once have been simple, like popping down to the High Street to get an eye test, can become difficult and confusing.
‘This can mean people miss out on vital checks, which can have serious consequences. Being able to have an eye test at home means that people living with dementia, and those supporting them, don’t have to face additional challenges accessing one and means they get the eye care they need.’
Further information about eye tests at home for people living with dementia is available at https://www.specsavers.co.uk/home-eye-tests/eye-exam-for-dementia-patients-at-home.
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