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How Hearing Loss and Dementia Are Correlated

Dementia refers to a group of brain diseases with varying symptoms and consequences. Alzheimer’s disease and stroke are its major causes that affect the functioning of brain cells. Around 50 million people in the world are suffering from the problem at present. Recent studies claim that dementia can be linked to hearing loss. Adults with hearing impairment are more likely to suffer from its symptoms.

Symptoms

Here are certain signs that may indicate a person is suffering from dementia.

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty in communication
  • Short attention spans
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Inability to perform familiar tasks
  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Loss of interest in fun activities and hobbies
  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impaired judgment

The Link between Hearing Loss and Dementia

Not many of us are aware of the fact that hearing loss can lead to a health condition as crucial as dementia. Hearing impairment is often left unattended in early age, due to which it turns into a huge problem with time. It is extremely important to treat the problem at early stages.

Recent studies suggest that hearing loss and dementia are closely interconnected. Hearing impairment increases the risk of dementia. People above 60 years of age are likely to develop its symptoms quickly if they’re suffering from some sort of hearing impairment.

The relationship between both problems isn’t clearly defined as yet. However, it is said that brain loses its ability to comprehend sounds with time due to hearing loss. As a consequence, patients become more vulnerable to mental health disorders.

Impaired hearing makes people isolated from the rest of the world. They fail to actively participate in communications. Consequently, they feel neglected and depressed. These negative thoughts affect their mental health and make them more prone to various other mental illnesses.

Prevent Dementia by Treating Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment is usually considered a part of aging. Around 20% of Americans face some extent of hearing loss. However, its effects aren’t widely known and therefore, it is often left untreated. If a hearing problem is nipped in the bud, it is possible to keep the symptoms of dementia at bay. Furthermore, certain symptoms can be reversed to restore the mental health of a person.

Hearing loss can be of three types: conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss. Here are some ways you treat hearing loss to reduce the risk of falling prey to dementia.

  • Use Hearing Aid

Use hearing aid to improve your hearing ability. These are small electronic devices that can be easily worn behind the ear or fitted in the external opening of the ear. If you face any difficulty in hearing sounds or find it hard to understand what is being said, you may need a hearing aid.

  • Middle Ear Implant

You can opt for middle ear implant if you cannot use regular hearing aids. These devices have two major components: one that is present above the skin to catch sounds and transmit them in the form of electrical signal, while the other one is implanted under the skin to catch and decode those signals.