The link between hearing loss and dementia is not a new concept, but more recent research has confirmed a strong association.
It is not fully known why there is a link between dementia and hearing loss or what other factors may have an influence, but it is thought that wearing hearing aids sooner and more regularly may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Early signs of both conditions can look similar:
- difficulties following conversation
- withdrawal from social activities
- reduced confidence
- anxiety/low mood
If someone can’t hear you, how can they be expected to remember what’s been said or respond well? Therefore, we believe everyone who is referred for dementia assessment should also ask for a hearing test.
How we help
Our team have received additional dementia awareness training and we have links with the UHSussex dementia champion. We offered adapted hearing test methods, signposting to local support services and personalised follow up arrangements.
Please ask us about Alzheimer’s society’s ‘this is me’ scheme, which supports people with memory impairment. The scheme focuses on improving our patient care and wellbeing when accessing any of our services.
Getting ready for your appointment
We would encourage you to bring a family member or friend with you to your appointment. There may be information that you would like to discuss with someone after the appointment, and it will provide an opportunity for your companion to find out more about the implications of your hearing.
It is important that your ears are clear of wax when you come for your appointment. Wax may:
- prevent us from performing your hearing assessment
- prevent us from fitting a hearing aid
- cause whistling if we fit a hearing aid
If you are prone to wax build up, please visit your GP or practice nurse to check your ears for wax, before you attend your appointment.
If you require an interpreter for any language including British sign language, please contact our department as soon as possible to request that this is arranged.
What to bring
Please bring with you hearing aids, ear moulds and documentation that you may have from any previous audiology appointments.
If you wear glasses please bring these with you.
If you require hospital transport you will need to arrange this through your GP.
Where we are
We offer appointments at:
- Sussex House, which is just a few minutes walk away from the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
- Mile Oak Medical Centre