More than 1/3rd people over 50 years of age become a victim to an undiagnosed hearing loss in the UK. These patients never receive the treatment that they deserve and hence live an impaired life. The complete study findings are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
The researchers from the University of Manchester have found that millions of people never receive a treatment for hearing-related problems which is why gradually become a victim of hearing loss. Only if they are diagnosed on time, there are chances that their hearing can be restored by using medicine, surgical interventions, or hearing aids. But without a diagnosis, it is hard to do it.
Older people particularly women who belong to low-income households or living in unprivileged areas are at a higher risk. They are never able to identify when and how their hearing is compromised which explains why they don’t get the medical help that is needed on time.
This new report also elaborates why most hearing-related patients are never diagnosed during a primary checkup. According to the researchers, the reason behind this fact is that people are unable to find out that there is a problem with their hearing.
Dalia Tsimpida, a doctoral candidate is the principal researcher of this study. She says that hearing loss is hard to treat but it doesn’t mean it is impossible to treat it. It is definitely treatable but it requires the diagnosis at an early stage. The problem in older people is that they are often unable to find out a problem in their hearing. That’s why they never see a doctor complaining of hearing problems so the ear health deteriorates with age.
The team went through the health patterns of older adults in the UK. The data that they analyses was taken from 8,529 people all of which belonged to the age 50-89 years of age. This data was obtained from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA).
Although this survey represents English people it provides a good picture of the entire British population, in terms of public health management. The participants were only objectively classified as a victim of hearing loss but they never reported having hearing-related problems. according to them, their hearing was normal and healthy.
Only in the UK, there are more than 12 million people diagnosed with hearing loss. This hearing treatment costs more than £25 billion annually to the government and also affects the economy in terms of affecting work performance and productivity. The reason for identifying the reason for hearing-related problems is necessary to save all those people who might be experiencing these symptoms within a few years without even realizing them.
The health experts warn that by the end of 2035, at least 15 million people will be living with hearing loss in the UK. This figure makes 1/5th of the total population.
The only way to treat and save the hearing is if it is diagnosed in the early stages, mainly in primary care. Primary care diagnosis means a person identifying himself with any hearing problem and accessing a GP to discuss this for further investigation and examination. If these problems are identified on a basic level such as the primary health care system, not only all these people can be saved, the risk for the next generation can also be reduced.