World Alzheimer’s Month is the perfect opportunity to explore the links between hearing loss and dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. Join us and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) in exploring the connections between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s, and learning how you can reduce your risk of developing this degenerative brain disease.

Linking Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s Disease

There are very strong links between hearing loss and dementias such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Studies conducted by Frank Lin at Johns Hopkins have found that even those with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to have dementia! Not only that, but your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s increases as your hearing worsens. While researchers are still discovering how this relationship between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s works, it’s clear that the strain of hearing loss, along with other factors such as communication difficulties and social isolation, play a major role in increasing your chances of developing dementia.

The Relationship Between Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s Disease

Hearing loss and Alzheimer’s Disease share many of the same early warning signs, and it can be hard to tell if your loved one forgot something because they have memory problems, or because they never heard it in the first place. Hearing loss can be wrongly diagnosed as dementia. For example, when you visit the doctor with your loved one, they might get confused, or answer a question in a way that doesn’t make sense. You exchange knowing looks with the doctor, and you both think your loved one might be suffering from dementia. However, if they didn’t hear the question, it’s no wonder they answered in a way that didn’t make sense, and it might seem like they have Alzheimer’s Disease.

When someone is suffering from both Alzheimer’s and untreated hearing loss, it can be hard to know which symptoms are from what cause. Your loved one is easily confused and socially withdrawn. They suffer from anxiety and depression, and struggle to tell you what’s wrong. Treating hearing loss, especially for someone with Alzheimer’s, is the best way to increase brain health, and improve quality of life.

Treating Hearing Loss

For those with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, seeking treatment for hearing loss is extremely important. If your loved one is easily confused, and struggles to make sense of the world around them, adding hearing loss to their dementia makes life ten times more confusing, and they’re likely to be more disoriented, and withdraw even more from friends and loved ones.

Treating hearing loss and helping them hear clearly will restore their confidence, and encourage them to be more socially active. Following conversations with ease and chatting with friends exercises the brain, and strengthens neural pathways throughout the brain. This slows the progress of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, giving your loved one many more years of clear thinking and great hearing, building memories along with you and your family.

Booking a Hearing Test

Do you have a loved one who’s struggling to hear? Are you worried that they’re facing social isolation and depression? Treating hearing loss will give them back their quality of life, help them stay safe, and allow them to develope new friendships or learning new skills. Treating hearing loss will potentially help to reduce their chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, and slow the progress of the disease. Booking a hearing test is the first step to treating hearing loss.

Helping Your Loved One with Their Hearing Aids

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease, and already has hearing aids, remember that you may need to help them with their devices. They may forget to put them on in the morning, or struggle to remember how to change between programs or adjust the settings. While it may take a bit of extra time for them to adapt to their devices, they’ll soon experience the benefits of clear hearing, following conversations easily, and being actively engaged with family and friends.

State Hearing and Audiology

If your loved one has hearing loss, encourage them to take a hearing test, and offer to accompany them to the appointment. At State Hearing and Audiology, our team of hearing health specialists are ready to talk with you and your loved on about hearing loss, and help them find the perfect device to match their lifestyle and hearing needs. Call us today to book an appointment for a consultation and hearing test!

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