Studies have found that people with hearing loss are up to five times more likely to develop dementia and alzheimer’s disease compared to those with normal hearing.
If you have noticed that you don’t hear as well as you used to, it’s a good idea to see one of our audiologist at Landmark Hearing as soon as possible. Research conducted by John Hopkins Medicine in 2011 indicates that the longer you wait to seek hearing loss treatment, the more likely your brain will forget how to interpret sound.
The result of this study found that individuals with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia. This particular study followed 639 dementia-free individuals from 1898 until 2004. Of those people, 125 had mild hearing loss, 53 had moderate loss, and 6 severe hearing loss. At the conclusion of the study, 58 of the participants developed dementia, including 37 who had alzheimer’s. Both diseases were found to be more prevalent within the participants with severe hearing loss.
The speculation is that straining to decode sounds overtime may overwhelm the brains of those with hearing loss. They also stated that hearing loss can lead to dementia by making individuals more socially isolated – a know risk for dementia and other cognitive disorders.
In addition to these important risk factors, studies have also shown that hearing loss worsens the symptoms of these diseases when they are already present. For instance, some of theses symptoms are impaired memory, inability to learn new tasks, depression, isolation and reduced alertness.
Can hearing devices help?
Further studies are underway to determine if hearing devices can delay, or even prevent the development of dementia and alzheimer’s by improving peoples hearing. What we do know is that wearing hearing devices have proven to be effective in regaining speech understanding, delay further hearing loss, reduce feelings of depression and isolation, and may improve memory and social interaction among individuals diagnosed with dementia.
If you currently already wear devices, it is important that you are wearing them for the majority of your waking day! If you are someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or know someone who does, get your hearing tested today!
You can make an appointment by calling us at (408) 773-9933 or by making an appointment online at http://www.landmarkhearing.com/appointments/