Is There A Connection Between Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s?

Being a caregiver for someone who has a brain injury, and who happens to be my husband isn’t easy. One of my biggest fears is that Corey will one day wake up as he ages and have Alzheimer’s disease.

For many of us as we age memory becomes a slight issue. I know me, I only turned 41 but lately, I can’t remember things I used to be able to such as appointments, game times, people’s birthdays.

It’s kinda scary.

We don’t think about losing your memory as we get older. I think we take it for granted. I always thought sure I might lose my eye-sight, maybe suffer some hearing loss (as I’m already partly deaf) in one ear. Looking at the latest research there is a link now between those things and Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people over the age of 60, hearing loss accounts for one-third of the risk for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

So What is Considered Hearing Loss?

According to the World Health Organization. If you a person cannot hear sounds 25 decibels or less in random speech frequencies, they have hearing loss. 48 million people in the US suffer from hearing loss and one out of every three by the time they reach the age of 65. The two diseases between hearing loss and memory loss share many overlapping symptoms.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Unresponsive to social cues
  • Isolation
  • Lack of understanding speech
  • Denial

Many people score low on mental function tests and refuse to believe they are suffering. It’s rooted in the brain activity and hearing operations of the body.

The temporal cortex, occipital cortex, porterior parietal cortex and brain stem affect our ability as humans to hear sound and judge the place. Though these can be heightened with the loss of other senses. Often the case is that they near the area of the brain that Alzheimer’s first introduces itself. 

We listen with our ears but hear with our brain… 

Research shows that mild hearing loss doubles the risk of dementia, which scares me to death as I’ve always had problems hearing. The risk of dementia increases as the hearing loss rises. So having an active, healthy brain is a way to defend against both the loss of sound and memory.

So what can you do? You can talk to your doctor about getting tested for hearing loss early so that you can address any symptoms you may have. That’s the good news. The bad news is if you are predispositioned like I am or Corey is, all you can do hope for the best.

Meet with your doctor, have a plan in place and do things to not only increase brain activity so your brain cells don’t die off.

Imagine waking up not only being unable to hear very well but to have no memory of what’s going on. To have those memories kick in and out. I know for me it would not be an easy journey and for anyone who has a family member struggle with Alzheimer’s our thoughts and prayers are with as it’s not an easy thing to deal with. 

What do you think about the link between Alzheimer’s and hearing. 

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