Accurate Hearing will be raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, the importance of early diagnosis, the relationship between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss, and the importance of addressing hearing loss in people with Alzheimer’s. Accurate Hearing is joining the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), in urging caregivers to address hearing loss in people with Alzheimer’s and to pay attention to their own hearing health.
“There are many families within our community coping with Alzheimer’s and the challenges it presents. We at Accurate Hearing want to help ensure that the hearing health of those in our community with Alzheimer’s is appropriately managed. Hearing loss, when left unaddressed, can compound the difficulties that people with Alzheimer’s and their families already face. But in many cases, the appropriate use of hearing aids can benefit people with hearing loss, including individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.”
The Connection Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Hearing Loss
There is strong evidence that hearing impairment contributes to the progression of cognitive dysfunction in older adults. Unmanaged hearing loss can interrupt the cognitive processing of spoken language and sound, regardless of other coexisting conditions. 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. This can make the disease more difficult than it might be if the hearing loss had been addressed.
Studies have shown that although a significantly higher percentage of people with Alzheimer’s disease may have hearing loss compared to their normally aging peers, they are much less likely to receive attention for their hearing needs.
“A comprehensive hearing assessment should be part of any medical evaluation prior to the evaluation of dementia. “By addressing the hearing loss, we can move toward a more accurate diagnosis, improve quality-of-life for those who have Alzheimer’s, and help them live as fully as possible.”
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.
Accurate Hearing is urging caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s to also address their own hearing health—recognizing the negative impact that untreated hearing loss can have on their own quality of life and emotional well-being. Caregivers can determine if they need a comprehensive hearing check by a hearing professional by taking a free, quick, and confidential online hearing test on our website.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Today, an estimated 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and they are supported by more than 15 million caregivers. Learn more about the relationship between untreated hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
For information about the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s disease, our hearing aid services, early detection, and diagnosis, contact the Alzheimer’s Association toll-free Helpline at (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/10signs.