How Are Hearing Loss & Alzheimer’s Linked?

By Keith Davis, 9:00 am on

Over the last year, the Better Hearing Institute has released a number of studies that link untreated hearing loss to diminished cognitive function. Seniors who have been diagnosed with even minor hearing problems often experience much higher rates of memory loss as well. Though the connection between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s is still somewhat vague, this research has shown there is a link that must be explored further. Green Valley Alzheimer’s home care experts explore a few of these connections.

Hearing Loss and Cognitive Resources

One of the most popular theories regarding the connection between these conditions involves the use of cognitive resources. Seniors who have a difficult time hearing must use more of their mental faculties to understand what they are experiencing, which includes holding conversations and digesting the information that is stated while interacting with others. As the cognitive load begins to increase, these stressors have the potential to physically damage brain cells.

Why Hearing Loss Exacerbates Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Even if hearing loss does not directly cause certain cases of Alzheimer’s, it can still exacerbate cognitive disorders. Seniors with Alzheimer’s who have also been diagnosed with hearing loss experience much higher rates of anxiety, depression, anger, mood swings, and chronic fatigue. It can also take doctors longer to correctly diagnose seniors with Alzheimer’s if they have hearing loss. They often attribute the cognitive decline to lack of comprehension instead of progressive mental disorders.

Tips for Preventing Hearing Loss

Preserving hearing boosts a senior’s general health as well as his or her overall quality of life. Seniors should schedule regular appointments with an audiologist to catch minor damage early, and they should also be wary of overusing earphones and earplugs with the volume all the way up. Ear infections and trauma to the ears must be addressed immediately to prevent microscopic fractures and other forms of permanent damage.

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging for older adults. If your senior loved one needs help managing Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disorder, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors get the mental stimulation they need to stave off cognitive decline. To learn more about the elder care Green Valley seniors count on, call 520-625-2050 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers and request your
no-obligation consultation.

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