1 in 8 Americans will suffer from hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 65. While it’s not something mentioned all too often, this statistic also applies to adults who develop some form of dementia. This might seem frightening, but there are ways to prevent it. By examining the correlation between the two, we can begin preparations to ensure a better quality of life.
As one of the most prevalent health issues in America, hearing loss affects over 40 million people in this country. While some people develop this condition early on, the most common demographic for people suffering hearing loss are adults over the age of 65.
While this term is usually synonymous with Alzheimer’s, they are not the same. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, and not a term for it. Dementia is the decline in a person’s mental faculties that impedes their ability to function. Dementia is diagnosed on a 7-point scale.
The Seven Stages of Dementia
Stage 1 (No cognitive decline)
Stage 2 (Very mild cognitive decline)
Stage 3 (Mild cognitive decline)
Stage 4 (Moderate cognitive decline)
Stage 5 (Moderately severe cognitive decline)
Stage 6 (Severe cognitive decline):
Stage 7 (Very severe cognitive decline)
The Correlation Between the Two
Because dementia and hearing loss are commonly found in the elderly, recent studies have been conducted to explore the link between the two. It was found that a total of 24% of people who have dementia originally suffered from hearing loss in one form or another. Because hearing loss diminishes a person’s quality of life, this often leads to prolonged periods of isolation, a major contributing factor to dementia.
How One Affects the Other
Hearing loss can greatly impact someone who is already struggling with dementia. Because dementia is a diminished quality of life, hearing loss can aggravate and even accelerate the symptoms of dementia. A patient with dementia is already losing their cognitive ability to function properly. A substantial loss of hearing will increase the rate of decline, and lead to prolonged periods of fear, isolation, and the inability to distinguish fact from delusion.
Treatment and Prevention
The best way to deal with hearing loss is early intervention. A visit to an hearing loss can determine the rate in which your hearing loss might be progressing, and can offer treatments to help you maintain a sustainable quality of life. No matter what your age might be, taking care of your hearing is of the highest importance.
Taking care of your hearing is important, and at Coastal Hearing Care, we’re here to offer the highest quality of care for our patients. Whether you need a hearing aid, already have one, or just need to have your hearing evaluated, we’re the place you can trust. You can find us located at 5860 Ranch Lake Blvd #110 in Bradenton.