Hearing Loss linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: hearing health | Tags: , , , , , |

For those of us who are familiar with hearing loss and its many causes, it is no surprise to find out the correlations between hearing loss and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and others. But there is also compelling evidence to suggest a link between a hearing loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s, both which are degenerative diseases that lead to progressive memory loss in the elderly.

Living in such a dynamic and loud city as Miami, requires us to be more careful of our hearing symptoms.  Many symptoms of hearing loss – especially those related to difficulty in understanding and communicating – are similar to some of those found in Alzheimer’s. For example, both Alzheimer’s and hearing loss are known to affect speech and language skills. Depression is also a common feature of both conditions.

A number of studies have demonstrated a correlation between Alzheimer’s, dementia and hearing loss. One study conducted at the University of Washington with Alzheimer’s patents who also had hearing loss, demonstrated a strong correlation between the severity of cognitive decline and the degree of hearing loss. The message here is clear: hearing aids can be extremely beneficial for the Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as they are for anyone with hearing loss.

So if anyone you know is suffering from memory loss, or displaying any symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia, encourage them to be screened for hearing loss as well. If a hearing loss is found, assistive technology such as hearing aids can, as demonstrated above, make a big difference in improving all the essential cognitive functions. Visit your local Miami audiologist and get screened today!



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