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Many of us often take for granted our ability to hear and remember small details. We do not think about how difficult it must be for some people to remember where they are, what they are doing, or where they last put their keys. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease affect millions of people around the world each year. There is little understanding around the world about what causes Alzheimer’s disease and the lack of understanding can be very stressful for those living with this most common form of this memory loss disease. September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and this month is dedicated to helping spread the word about this common disease, educating the public about the disease, and helping families who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a form of this disease you have likely already noticed the common symptoms associated with this disease. This disease affects the entire brain and inhibits most cognitive abilities. It affects a person’s ability to think clearly, remember common things, and regulate their own emotions. It mostly affects people over the age of 65 but has been known to affect people much younger.
With over 100 different forms of memory loss, there is still much more research that needs to be done to help those who suffer from this disease cope. There are an estimated 50 million people around the world who suffer from this disease, and even more family members and friends who are forced to deal with this disease as well. While September is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, September 21st has been recognized as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Day. If you or someone you know is displaying common symptoms of dementia you should seek treatment.
Common Symptoms of This Disease
The most common warning signs of this life changing disease may seem small and insignificant if you or someone you know displays only one or two, but when they are noticed together it is time to seek medical attention. Treating this disease early can help slow down the process and give you and your family more time to understand the disease and how to treat it.
Everyone forgets small things, like where they put their keys or forgetting to do something on their to-do list, but repetitive memory loss can be one of the earliest warning signs of memory loss. The most common and noticeable warning signs of this disease include difficulty performing routine tasks, problems with language and speaking, disorientation with time and place, and decreased judgment. Those who have this disease may also experience changes in behavior, lack of social interaction, difficulty remembering common images, misplace items, and inability to keep track of things. Recent studies have also found that hearing loss can be related to developing this disease and can significantly increase your likelihood of developing this disease.
Connection Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Hearing Loss
Alzheimer’s disease is known to affect a person’s cognitive abilities, but recent studies have shown a connection between hearing loss and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain and the functions associated with your brain. This disease inhibits memory, reasoning, mood, and language. Since our brain is connected to our ability to hear and process information researchers have started looking at the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss.
The ear canal is connected to our brain because our brain uses the vibrations and noises that come through our ear canal to process what is being said and heard outside of our body. The ability to hear has been connected to this common disease.
Researchers have recently done various studies that have found people who have hearing problems are two times more likely to develop dementia later in life. They also found that those with severe hearing problems were five times more likely to develop this disease when compared to those who can hear at the same age.
While it is not fully understood while hearing loss and dementia are related these same researchers have theorized that the two are connected because hearing problems can cause social isolation and can also require that the brain uses up its natural energy to try and hear. When your brain focuses on trying to hear something that it cannot, it takes up a great deal of energy that is typically devoted to hearing other things. It can take attention away from your brain’s ability to remember common things since it needs to overcompensate to hear.
Seek Help for Alzheimer’s Disease and Hearing Loss
If you or someone you know is struggling to hear you should highly consider getting your hearing checked by our team at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center. Setting up an appointment with a hearing specialist can help you keep your hearing and significantly reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Setting up an appointment takes only a few minutes and the appointment itself will likely take less than an hour. At the appointment you can get your hearing checked, learn about the different options for improving your hearing, and become more educated about the connection between hearing loss and dementia. Seeking help early when you first notice your hearing diminish can help your risk of developing cognitive issues and can reduce your and your family’s stress levels later in life.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
There are many benefits to being able to hear, and the reduced risk for developing dementia is just one of these tremendous benefits. Your ability to hear also helps you stay connected to people and improves your social interactions. Studies have found that those who have difficulty hearing are often socially isolated. When you cannot hear you tend to get embarrassed about your ability to listen and communicate and therefore you tend to spend more time alone and in your home. This can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and can result in you becoming more at risk for developing other diseases, like heart disease, depression, or obesity. Being able to hear can significantly improve your overall quality of life and make it easier for you to connect with your friends and family. There are endless benefits to being able to hear, but keeping your brain healthy tops the list.
If you or someone you know is struggling to hear it is crucial that you help them. Admitting that you need help to hear can be an embarrassing and difficult thing to talk about, but it is something that needs to be done to improve your overall quality of life. Since your loss of hearing affects everyone in your life, you should not be embarrassed by having the conversation.
Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center
The first step you should take is encourage your loved one to meet with our team of specialists at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center. Since September is World Alzheimer’s Month, this may be the perfect time to start the conversation. Since there is a huge connection between dementia and untreated hearing loss it is crucial that the public becomes educated about this.
We can all use September to share our concerns with family and friends and encourage them to seek help when we notice a problem. A simple hearing check can be everything you need to keep your life moving in the direction that you want it to go.