Latest posts by Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)
- Studies on Hearing Loss & Injuries - December 1, 2019
- How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job - November 27, 2019
- Hearing Aids Mitigate Cognitive Decline in Older People - November 21, 2019
September is World Alzheimer’s Month. Two of three people are unaware of the signs of Alzheimer’s, which is why World Alzheimer’s Mont was created in 2012. Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death. It is most prevalent in people over the age of 65, and while Alzheimer’s disease can occur at younger ages, it is uncommon.
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that affects thought, memory, and language. Music therapy can improve the cognitive abilities of a patient with Alzheimer’s. The brain will trigger the memory portion and help the patient with hearing impairment hear better. Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss are common in most people who have impaired health problems.
A person’s cognitive abilities will become worse over time and the patient will reach the point of not being capable of completing daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating, cooking, using the bathroom, hygiene, shopping, and eventually they won’t be able to speak or even walk either. Alzheimer’s will also affect the senses especially hearing. Studies show that people with slight hearing loss are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s; those with a severe loss of hearing are five times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those that don’t have a hearing problem.
How We Hear
The ear canal picks up sound waves from the outer part of the ear. The waves cause the eardrum to vibrate three small bones in the middle of the ear. When the brain receives an electrical signal from the vibrations of the small hair cells then the brain is ready to send sounds through the ear for your listening pleasure. The hearing part of the brain is disrupted when the loss of hearing becomes frequent. It’s important to see a doctor for a hearing screening at least once a year to ensure that your hearing or your loved one’s hearing is within a normal range.
Alzheimer’s Disease and hearing loss are significant signs of aging. If your loved one has a loss of hearing, then it might be time to consider finding a suitable hearing aid. The first step is to take a hearing test.
Untreated Hearing Loss and Dementia
Untreated hearing loss and dementia share a close relationship. Studies show that hearing aids can help a person with hearing loss not only to hear better but also add socialization to their lives. It will improve their health and help them regain their independence. This reduces the risk of social isolation, which is a major risk factor for dementia.
Statistics indicate that by the year 2050 one in 85 people will be affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It’s expected to multiply twice as much over a twenty-year period that will affect nearly 100 million people worldwide.
The best way to keep yourself and loved ones from being affected by hearing loss and dementia are to follow a healthy eating diet plan. Keep regular doctor appointments and follow the doctor’s orders. Always take prescribed medication until the doctor says to discontinue it. Hypertension is another key factor in Alzheimer’s disease. A systolic of 140 or higher is considered high blood pressure. If this happens seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor can place you on a medication that will help decrease the blood pressure while following a low sodium diet. Diabetes is also a known factor. It can be controlled with the right medication. People on Insulin should use it properly and maintain a blood sugar of 125. Keep yourself active by joining a gym or just walking every day. By following a proper diet, taking all medications, and exercising properly, you’ll be able to stay clear of Alzheimer’s Disease, although there isn’t a specific treatment nor has been established.
With efforts like World Alzheimer’s Month, there is hope and people are being informed of new information as it becomes known. Fundraisers are being implemented to raise money for new treatments, research, and finding affordable healthcare facilities that specialize in Alzheimer’s care.
Professional Hearing Services
Caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is a difficult and time-consuming ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be. There is help out there and the information provided will not only assist the patient but the caregiver as well. If you believe your loved one might be experiencing hearing loss, it is important to seek treatment. Contact us at Professional Hearing Services today to learn more.