By Richard J. Hetsko, Au.D.
Board Certified in Audiology
According to a study attributed to the Alzheimer’s Association (AA), in conjunction with the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), strong evidence suggests that hearing impairment contributes to the progression of mental impairment in older adults.
When hearing loss or impairment goes undetected, it can interrupt the brain’s processing of spoken language and sound. If you have a person who is experiencing Alzheimer’s and hearing loss, many of their hearing loss symptoms sharply increase their inability to understand. If their hearing issues were diagnosed and treated earlier, their means of successfully managing the disease increase.
10 Signs to Watch Out For
BHI is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), whose campaign, “Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters,” is working to identify the early detection signs of Alzheimer’s. According to the AA, the 10 signs to watch for include:
• Memory changes that disrupt daily life
• Challenges in planning or solving problems
• Difficulty completing familiar tasks
• 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
Hearing Devices and Alzheimer’s
The BHI’s research has uncovered that people with Alzheimer’s who regularly wear hearing devices, in combination with a consistently practiced aural retraining therapy program, are able to diminish their Alzheimer’s symptoms.
If you are concerned you or a loved one might be experiencing the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, it is recommended that you maintain your regular hearing evaluations. Having your AudigyCertified™ professionals at Oberlin Hearing Care detect these warning signs as early as possible is a critical first step in confirming an accurate diagnosis and creating an effective, long-term plan for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and your hearing loss.