Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Dementia? Have your hearing tested!

January is Alzheimer’s month.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or is showing signs of dementia, a thorough hearing check is in order.

Studies suggest that hearing impairment contributes to the progression of cognitive dysfunction in older adults. If not managed, as for example with hearing aids, hearing loss can interrupt the cognitive processing of spoken language and sound.

When an individual has both Alzheimer’s and hearing loss, many of the symptoms of hearing loss can interact with those common to Alzheimer’s, making the disease more difficult than it might be if the loved one has been treated for hearing loss.

“When left unaddressed, hearing loss can compound the difficulties that people with Alzheimer’s and their families already face,” says Jerry Laufman, Registered Audiologist/Owner , Lincoln Hearing Clinic “But in many cases, the appropriate use of hearing aids can benefit people with hearing loss, including those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.”

Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk to personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, and diminished psychological and overall health.

“A comprehensive hearing assessment should be part of any medical evaluation prior to the evaluation of dementia,” says Laufman “By addressing the hearing loss, we can help improve quality-of-life for those who have Alzheimer’s and help them live as fully as possible.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for almost two-thirds of all cases. It is irreversible and eventually fatal. Other dementias include vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia (including Pick’s disease), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Lewy body dementia.

There is no cure for these diseases, but medication, lifestyle changes and support can help manage symptoms. (Source- Alzheimer Society)

There are 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs, please see a doctor. Early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment and plan for the future.

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

For more information about the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s disease, early detection and diagnosis, contact the Alzheimer Society toll-free Helpline at (800)879-4226 or visit www.alzheimer.ca/on

To book an appointment for a Hearing Assessment please call Lincoln Hearing Clinic

905-563-HEAR (4327) or visit www.lincolnhearing.ca and send a request via the Contact Us page.

By lorraine | Posted in Hearing Health, Information | Tagged , , , , | Comments (0)

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