Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss & Alzheimers - What's The Connection?

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June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. In light of this, we’re looking at hearing loss and Alzheimer’s. Is there a connection between the two?

The Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s as “type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.”

So what does this have to do with your hearing?

A number of studies have investigated the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. In fact, the Hearing Loss Association of America stated that “hearing loss may increase the risk of cognitive problems and even dementia.”

What is Alzheimer’s?

The Alzheimer’s Association states: “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases.”

Alzheimer’s is not considered a normal part of aging, although age is the greatest known risk factor. The majority of people with Alzheimer’s are over 65.

Estimates, however, show that roughly 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have what is referred to as “younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.” This is also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s.

It is a disease that worsens over time. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure. Treatment for the symptoms are available. Research to develop a cure is ongoing.

What’s the Connection Between Hearing Loss & Alzheimer’s?

In 2011, a John Hopkins study looked at 639 mentally sharp individuals. Researchers monitored their cognitive health for 12 to 18 years. Results from the study showed the more severe the hearing loss, the higher the risks of developing dementia. Specifically:

So why are hearing loss and Alzheimer’s connected?

You may not realize it, but your brain and your hearing are closely connected. Untreated hearing loss can affect your brain in a number of ways. These include?

You can help to protect your brain by staying on top of your hearing healthcare. Make sure to book regular hearing assessments with a hearing healthcare professional. This will allow you to stay on top of your baseline hearing.

Early detection of hearing loss can also help reduce the impact it has on you. There are significant benefits to treating hearing loss.

Reduce your risks of developing hearing loss with our preventing hearing loss guide. Click here to read more.

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