September is World Alzheimer’s Month

September is World Alzheimer’s Month

In Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease by Nikki DeGeorge Weaver, Au.D.

Nikki DeGeorge Weaver, Au.D.

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease the most common form of dementia? Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain condition that impacts areas which control thought, memory, emotion and language. There are other types of dementia, alcohol-related, some due to Parkinson’s or high blood pressure, but 60 to 80% of dementia is Alzheimer’s related.

At Coweta Hearing, we want to recognize that September is World Alzheimer’s Month. Untreated hearing loss is one of the factors that puts you at risk for dementia. There are other factors, too including rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, smoking and obesity. Each of these factors increases your risk of getting dementia three to six times more than someone who doesn’t suffer from those conditions.

We think it is important to highlight dementia and Alzheimer’s disease because of the factor Coweta Hearing & Balance Clinic has some control over – treating your hearing loss! Globally, two out of three people believe there is little to no understanding of dementia in their countries. Yet, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are projected to impact 152 million people world-wide by 2050. September is the month each year that there is an international effort to raise world-wide awareness of Alzheimer’s, the most common form which is dementia. Make September the month you call Coweta Hearing & Balance Clinic to get on the right track to living with more hearing and mental clarity.

Early Indicators of Alzheimer’s Disease

Early signs of Alzheimer’s include memory loss, but also difficulty finding the right words, problems understanding what people are saying, not being able to perform what were previously routine tasks and personality and mood changes. Some other early warning indicators are: getting lost in familiar places, trouble handling cash and paying bills, repeating the same questions over and over in a very short time, placing items in odd places and confusion over time and events. Personality changes that occur include paranoia and distrust of family members as well as caregivers. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease robs individuals of the ability to function in any sort of environment.

Untreated Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline

Hearing loss is a fact of life for 48 million Americans and as you get older, the chances of experiencing hearing loss increase. The majority of Americans over the age of 75 are experiencing some hearing loss. Dr. Frank Lin, an otologist and epidemiologist with Johns Hopkins University, researched cognitive decline and hearing loss. The studies he conducted reinforce the theory that aggressively treating hearing loss can stave off cognitive decline and dementia. In other words, this means treating hearing loss as soon as it is discovered. Many adults wait from five to seven before getting their hearing loss treated even after it has been diagnosed.

Use Your Brain Power

Social interaction, utilizing your brain outside the home for driving, shopping, hiking and – just walking are all great brain exercises. At home, baking, doing the crossword puzzle, reading, playing along with game shows on TV, all help keep you sharp.  Untreated hearing loss causes your brain to struggle with processing sounds and trying to decode fragments of conversation. This stress, over and over again, every day, puts what scientists call a “cognitive load” on certain areas of the brain and not others. If you are using too much of your brain for the same thing – other cognitive abilities are reduced.

Untreated Hearing Loss and Isolation

People with untreated hearing loss tend to withdraw from social activities because not being able to respond during a conversation is embarrassing, exhausting and frustrating. This cuts out a big part of social interaction that keeps your cognitive abilities sharp. It also leads to depression. Lack of socialization as well as depression have long been recognized as factors that can lead to cognitive decline and dementia.

Treating Hearing Loss Brings Significant Benefits

Using hearing devices improves a person’s quality of life, from social interactions to better use of cognitive skills and studies have even shown better sleeping patterns! The user reports improvements and family members and friends, according to studies, also report better relationships because there is no more frustration over not being able to hear.

Coweta Hearing & Balance Clinic

The professionals at Coweta Hearing & Balance Clinic encourage you to call us today for an evaluation. There are hearing aids available for your hearing loss, your lifestyle and your budget. The technology that goes into hearing aids means there is a model that will suit you and we will help you navigate through the technology. We also provide aural rehabilitation to help you hone your listening skills and get the most out of your hearing aids.