September is World Alzheimer’s Month

September is designated as World Alzheimer’s Month, to raise awareness on this common and devastating condition. The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are now slated to factor into the lives of tens of millions of people and is growing. Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia and generally affects people over the age of 65. Currently, over 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia and each year there are 10 million new cases. The impact is detrimental not only to their caregivers but to their family and society as a whole. The condition is chronic and progressive in nature.

The following are some of the common symptoms as cited by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In the early stages of the disease, these can include:

●           Getting lost in familiar places.

●           Having trouble handling money and paying bills.

●           Repeating questions.

●           Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks.

●           Displaying poor judgment.

●           Losing things or misplacing them in odd places.

●           Displaying mood and personality changes

Current efforts to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease will depend, in large part, on volunteers who participate in studies.

Cognition and hearing loss

Our cognitive abilities are negatively impacted by age, medication, lifestyle choices and genetics amongst other factors. It has recently been confirmed by medical research and studies that hearing loss plays a big part in our cognitive health and is definitively connected to its capability to function at an optimum level. At an early age, sounds we perceive are turned into neural networks so the brain can effectively receive and translate audio information. These pathways are what we rely upon and recognize as sound. If anything is lacking in our hearing process the pathways are disrupted and degenerate with lack of use, distortion and time.

Because Alzheimer’s negatively impacts our cognition, hearing loss becomes a factor in the upkeep of our cognitive abilities. Our communication is affected by our hearing ability and it is in decline our need to interact with others is damaged on every level.

Research and findings

Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine conducted a study to investigate the link between dementia and hearing loss. The study involved over 600 participants that were tested for their cognitive abilities every two for over a decade. The data acquired and analyzed from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA) showed that the “study participants with hearing loss at the beginning of the study were significantly more likely to develop dementia by the end. Compared with volunteers with normal hearing, those with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss had twofold, threefold, and fivefold, respectively, the risk of developing dementia over time. The more hearing loss they had, the higher their likelihood of developing the memory-robbing disease.”

The good news is that not everyone that ages suffer from dementia or that dementia translates directly to Alzheimer’s. Staying vigilant with diet, nutrition, exercise, social and physical activity is a comprehensive approach to stave off risks to dementia and cognitive decline.

Isolation

As we age our social circles become increasingly important as do our family ties. It is a necessary part of a wholesome existence. It is also fundamentally important for our cognitive health. Hearing loss is an obstacle that can be overcome or navigable if we are willing to incorporate it as part of our overall health regimen. 

When hearing loss is left unaddressed one of its debilitating symptoms is social withdrawal. Those who suffer from hearing loss naturally try to compensate by asking to increase volume in private or intimate settings such as the home, asking people to repeat themselves at an increasing rate and tending to shy away from places with noisy backgrounds. Their continual exertion to compensate for their hearing decline leads not only exhaustion but to isolation, as they feel more vulnerable, lack confidence and are unable to keep with once familiar interactions amongst friends and family.  This sets the foundation for further cognitive decline and exposure to depression.

Be proactive

One of the most important things to attend to as part of your overall health is to get an assessment of your hearing. Early detection is the key to prevention as any hearing health professional would suggest.  

Advanced Hearing Solutions

Advanced Hearing Solutions is here for any of your hearing needs. We are aware and equipped for any questions you or your loved ones may have. We understand that your hearing health is important to sustain and strengthen your relationships and maintain your wellness. The first appointment with us is will get you started on the path to a happier and richer life of hearing for you now.

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!

How can we celebrate our health in the merry month of May? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association of America (ASHA) is advocating the importance of sustaining hearing health as we progress from infancy to adulthood. Valuable resources and access to information regarding symptoms to treatments are part of the focus of the campaign.  Most importantly, the vitality of our hearing as we age requires vigilance, preventative care, and monitoring.

Tips for Traveling with Hearing Aids

Tips for Traveling with Hearing Aids

With spring right around the corner, you might already be dreaming of summer travel plans. In fact, now is a good time to start planning. Those of us who live in cold parts of the globe can do well to dream about lying on a beach or hiking through a mossy forest in just a few months. Of the many things to consider when you’re planning your summer adventures, your ability to hear easily and clearly shouldn’t be neglected. Struggling to hear your traveling companions or the people you meet along the way is a sure way to cramp your sojourning style. Don’t unnecessarily risk your safety, comfort, or the good times that await you. A few simple tips can help you prepare to be able to hear clearly and easily in almost any environment.

Tips for Driving with Hearing Aids

Tips for Driving with Hearing Aids

Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It could also become a very dangerous situation if you are not vigilant. What if you can’t hear a warning alarm or someone calling your name? When you have significant hearing loss, it changes your experience of the world. When you get on the road with hearing loss there are, of course, special concerns to think about.

Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

 Adjusting to New Hearing Aids

The first time you put in a new pair of hearing aids might be a shocking experience. You’re suddenly hearing a range of sounds you haven’t heard in years, and your brain is struggling to make sense of all this new information. While new hearing aids might seem overwhelming in the first few hours, adjusting to hearing aids is a easy process, and we’ll walk you through the steps.

What to Expect at a Hearing Test

What to Expect at a Hearing Test

Congratulations on setting up your first hearing test! A hearing test is the best tool for analyzing the capabilities of your hearing and detecting any hearing loss. Modern hearing tests use multiple factors to check your hearing for issues and to help find effective treatment for any problems or concerns. Hearing tests are painless, comprehensive and non-invasive - getting an annual hearing exam is a great idea for tracking your hearing health and catching any hearing issues early. Let’s take a look at what you can expect at your hearing test.

Encouraging a Loved One to Take a Hearing Test

Encouraging a Loved One to Take a Hearing Test

Most of the time, hearing loss is an extremely gradual process that happens over the course of years or even decades. Because of this, the person with hearing loss usually does not notice or is in denial about their hearing changes. Loved ones are usually the first to point out a potential hearing concern. Once you notice changes in their hearing, encouraging a loved one to take a hearing test can feel like a difficult task.