Do you find yourself constantly turning up the volume on your television or radio? Are you having difficulty following conversations in social settings? We often attribute these problems solely to hearing loss, but our hearing struggles can also be an indication of a more serious underlying health condition: dementia.
At Hearing Unlimited, our priority is helping you improve the condition of your hearing. That is why we provide the latest in hearing aid technology for our patients. Although hearing loss may feel like an isolating health issue, we want you to know you are not alone. Here’s how our hearing services can help you to achieve better hearing and overall health:
What is Dementia?
Did you know that 50 million people worldwide have dementia? While dementia typically affects people of older age, it is important to know that this is not a normal part of the aging process. Dementia is not a disease. Rather, it is a general term that describes a collection of medical conditions relating to abnormal brain changes. These changes are caused by damage to certain cells in our brain as a result of cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The severity of dementia symptoms vary based on which part of the brain is damaged or affected by dementia.
What Are Dementia Symptoms?
It is important to be mindful of your health and stay on top of any symptoms that indicate signs of dementia. If you are struggling with any of the following symptoms, it may be time to consider visiting a dementia care specialist:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Getting confused when handling familiar routines
- Struggling to follow conversations
- Getting confused about time and/ or place
- Mood swings
Hearing and Dementia: How Are They Related?
While we typically address these health concerns separately, these two issues are related in more ways than we may think. Recent research suggests that the risk of developing dementia triples for adults struggling with moderate hearing loss. People with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia compared to people with no hearing loss. So what is the connection between hearing loss and dementia?
Consider that your ears and your brain are a team. If one player on the team struggles, the entire team struggles. While your ears work to pick up sounds, your brain works to decode these auditory signals for their meaning. When we struggle with hearing loss, our brain does not receive an adequate amount of signals from our ears and has to work harder to process and analyze sounds.
Not only can hearing loss and dementia affect your bodily functions, it can also affect your self-esteem. Some audiologists predict that people suffering from hearing loss may experience social isolation, which can impact dementia. Because people with hearing loss may face struggles following conversations with others, it can cause them to disengage from social interaction. This lack of social environment can cause a reduction in the cognitive function necessary for interaction, in turn expediting the process of mental decline.
Your Treatment Options
At Hearing Unlimited, we understand that hearing loss and dementia can seem intimidating and isolating. That is why we offer our patients a variety of preventative options personalized toward your hearing and cognitive health. When it comes to your hearing, do not compromise. The following tools can help you on your journey to bettering your hearing health and lowering your risk of dementia:
- Hearing aids for dementia patients-Research has demonstrated that hearing aids may slow your chances of developing dementia. Hearing aids can improve your social communication, leading to improvement of cognitive function.
- Hearing testing- While dementia is typically diagnosed in your later years of life, changes that can accelerate your risk of developing dementia can occur in earlier life stages. That is why we recommend having your hearing tested annually if you are ages 50 and above.
- Hearing rehabilitation- Our specialists at Hearing Unlimited guide patients through an extensive hearing rehabilitation process. Our rehabilitation services address medical, communication, and psychological dimensions to improve both your hearing and cognitive health.
Hearing Unlimited is experienced in providing various services across the Southwestern, PA region. We carry some of the top hearing aid brands and styles to provide you with customized hearing services, tailored to your individual needs. Schedule an appointment with us today, or call (412)-347-5550 to stay on top of your hearing health.