Damage to Hearing can Increase the Likelihood of Developing Dementia

Damage to Hearing can Increase the Likelihood of Developing Dementia

Hearing loss brings with it a host of health conditions. Recent research indicates that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may be connected to hearing loss. Dementia poses a threat for people who have hearing loss levels of more than 25dB. Those above 60 years were found to have an increased likelihood of having hearing-loss related dementia by 36%.

People with normal hearing have significantly lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease as well as dementia, compared to those with hearing difficulties. The higher the severity of hearing loss, the higher the chances were of developing Alzheimer’s. Even those with only a mild type of hearing loss have almost double the chances of suffering from dementia as opposed to those who have regular hearing. This likelihood triples for those who have medium levels of hearing difficulty, and jumps up to a whopping five times likelihood for people who have high levels of hearing loss.

It is important to note that correlation does not equal causation, thus a link of dementia with hearing loss does not mean that dementia is caused by hearing loss. However, this does mean that those with hearing loss appear to have some sort of similar pathology strains that can predispose them towards developing dementia.

Dementia is related to psychological well-being, which is often dependant on good hearing. A person with hearing loss often tends to feel more isolated and socially withdrawn. Hearing loss can result in social difficulties and difficulty in communication, resulting in troubled interpersonal relationships. Due to lack of social interaction and communication, the brain may begin to lose its social and communicative abilities, which can lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Several cognitive difficulties arise as a result of hearing loss, apart from dementia. Hearing loss adversely affects memory skills, information processing abilities, and alertness. Difficulty comprehending novel tasks can also occur due to hearing loss. Mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, frustration, tiredness, and anger issues are also common for those with hearing loss.

The negative effects of hearing loss can be greatly diminished through the use of hearing aids. Studies indicate that those using hearing aids have lower rates of dementia as well as Alzheimer’s. Cognitive skills also improve as a result of wearing hearing aids. Since hearing loss is a slow and gradual process, it can take years before people actually identify their hearing problem. Luckily, using hearing aids can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease as well as help you regain control over your life.

Prevention is always better than the cure, which is why practicing safe hearing practices and using hearing protection are effective ways to prevent hearing loss. Early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss is essential in maintaining overall health, which is why it is important to get your hearing tested every year.

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