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  • Writer's pictureSmiths Hearing Care

The Connection Between Alzheimer's and Hearing Loss

All families that are effected by Alzheimer's know how much it can take over the lives of people who suffer from it. Many researchers have spent many years trying to understand this terrible disease. They have unfortunately to date not found a cure but each new study brings them a little closer to discovering the causes of the worst symptoms and how people can reduce or slow down the risk of onset.

One of the most recent studies has found a potentially important link between Alzheimer's and hearing loss. They have discovered that hearing loss may influence cognitive decline. Researchers at John Hopkins tracked a number of seniors over several years and noticed how quickly the disease progressed, and those with a hearing loss had much higher rates of dementia. The studies didn't suggest that hearing loss itself causes dementia, but it does show there is a link between the two.

These theories included

  • 1. Change in brain function: The particular part of the brain in control of hearing and processing auditory information may simply start to work differently when the hearing becomes strained, somehow causes the brain to change how the brain is structured, which could be related to the effects of Alzheimer's.

  • 2. Cognitive load: When you can't hear well, you have to work much harder to make sense of what people are talking about. This requires more and more mental energy. Then there is less mental energy left for you to put towards memory and other cognitive functions.

  • 3. Social isolation: It is will known that social isolation can have very severe effects on both physical and mental health. When you can't hear well it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain social connections which leads to feeling alienated and experiencing all the negative effects of social isolation and a greater sense of loneliness.

Although they don't actually know if the relationship between Alzheimer's and hearing loss is due to one of the things or a combination of all of them, but by being aware there is definitely a relationships that does exist is at least one step nearer to be able to do something about it.

Any one who is experiencing a hearing loss should make a point of seeking treatment for it. Not only will it make is much easier to communicate with friends and loved ones and continue to participate in the many everyday activities that require hearing, but it could also help stave off Alzheimer's for longer. That is well worth the cost of treatment in and of itself.

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These tiny aids sit behind the ear and are virtually invisible to other people. They offer the best 360 degree spatial awareness. They also automatically change programmes to make you hear in all different types of environments, so no buttons to keep pressing!

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