Sound help needed

Researchers Danelia Kok and Esmeralda Nel. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d440415
Researchers Danelia Kok and Esmeralda Nel. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d440415

Two researchers from Murdoch University are studying the link between the two and they need participants with and without hearing loss.

Esmeralda Nel and Danelia Kok are honours students who are working with people aged 40 to 85 to see whether using hearing aids or cochlear implants to treat hearing loss affects cognitive function.

Ms Nel said untreated hearing loss could make people socially isolated, particularly as understanding speech could become difficult in noisy environments.

It could also be dangerous as people could have trouble hearing fire alarms or a kettle boiling, with all these factors significantly affecting a person�s quality of life.

�A cause of concern is the increasing numbers of adults above the age of 65 who have a hearing loss associated with cognitive decline,� Ms Nel said.

�Studies have shown that people with a hearing loss may have an increased risk for all-cause dementia.�

People with concerns about their hearing health should see their GP for a referral to an audiologist for a hearing test.

As part of this study participants, who must have been speaking Australian English for at least 10 years, will receive a free hearing screening.

Ms Nel said they would also be part of a groundbreaking study to help improve community health.

�We hope that doctors and audiologist can work together to provide scientifically-based care for their patients,� she said.

The study is being conducted in Subiaco, Mt Lawley and Joondalup, through the Ear Science Institute of Australia.

Call 0409 623 367 or email clinical.research@earscience.onmicrosoft.com to find out more or join the study.