Woman with hearing loss concerned about Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

An underlying fear of Alzheimer’s disease runs rampant in seniors who deal with the symptoms of loss of memory and diminished mental function. However, the latest research shows that at least some of that worry may be baseless and that these issues may be the result of a much more treatable affliction.

According to a report published in a Canadian medical journal, the symptoms that actually might be the results of neglected hearing loss are sometimes mistaken as the product of Alzheimer’s.

In the Canadian study, researchers closely assessed participant’s functional abilities related to thought and memory and looked for any connections to potential brain disorders. 56 percent of people evaluated for cognitive impairment had minor to extreme loss of hearing. Surprisingly, a hearing aid was worn by only 20 percent of those people.

These findings are backed up by patients who think they might have symptoms of Alzheimer’s according to a clinical neuropsychologist who authored the study. In some instances, it was a patient’s loved ones who suggested the appointment because they noticed memory lapses or diminished attention.

The Line is Blurred Between Hearing Loss And Alzheimer’s

While hearing loss may not be the first thing an older adult thinks of when dealing with potential cognitive decline, it’s easy to see how one can confuse it with Alzheimer’s.

Having your friend ask you for a favor is a situation that you can be easily imagined. Case in point, let’s say they need a ride to the airport for an upcoming trip. What if you didn’t hear their question clearly? Would you ask them to repeat themselves? If you still aren’t certain what they said, is there any possible way you would know that you were supposed to drive them to the airport?

It’s likely that some people could have misdiagnosed themselves with Alzheimer’s because of this type of thinking according to hearing professionals. Instead, it may very well be an ongoing and progressive hearing problem. Bottom line, you can’t remember something that you don’t hear to begin with.

There Are Ways to Treat Gradual Hearing Loss Which is a Normal Condition

It’s not surprising that people of an advanced age are experiencing these problems given the correlation between aging and the likelihood of having hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that just 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling loss of hearing. Meanwhile, that number rises considerably for older age brackets, coming in at 8.5 percent for 55- to 64-year-olds; 25 percent for 65- to 74-year-olds; and 50 percent for people 75-years or older.

Gradual loss of hearing, which is a part of aging, often goes untreated because people just accept it as a normal part of life. In fact, it takes around 10 years on average for a person to seek treatment for loss of hearing. Worse, less than 25 percent of people who need hearing aids will ultimately buy them.

Is it Possible That You Could be Suffering From Hearing Loss?

If you’ve ever truly wondered if you were one of the millions of Americans with hearing loss severe enough that it needs to be addressed, there are a number of revealing signs you should consider. Consider the following questions:

  • If there is a lot of background sound, do I have a problem comprehending words?
  • Do I try to avoid social situations because holding a conversation in a loud room is hard?
  • Do I have to crank up the radio or TV to hear them.
  • How often do I have to ask people to speak louder or slower?
  • Is hearing consonants difficult?

Science has definitely found a connection between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s, however they are not the same. A Johns Hopkins study followed 639 people who noted no cognitive impairment over a 12 to 18 year period studying their progress and aging. The research found that the worse the hearing loss at the beginning of the study, the more likely the person was to develop symptoms of dementia which is a term that refers to impaired thought and memory.

There is one way you might be able to eliminate any potential confusion between loss of hearing and Alzheimer’s, and that is to undergo a hearing test. The prevailing thought in the health care community is that this evaluating should be a regular part of your annual physical, especially for people who are over 65.

Have Questions About Hearing Loss?

We can help with a full hearing assessment if you think there may be a possibility you might be confusing hearing loss with Alzheimer’s. Schedule your appointment for an exam today.

Woman with hearing loss concerned about Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

An underlying fear of Alzheimer’s disease runs rampant in seniors who deal with the symptoms of loss of memory and diminished mental function. However, the latest research shows that at least some of that worry may be baseless and that these issues may be the result of a much more treatable affliction.

According to a report published in a Canadian medical journal, the symptoms that actually might be the results of neglected hearing loss are sometimes mistaken as the product of Alzheimer’s.

In the Canadian study, researchers closely assessed participant’s functional abilities related to thought and memory and looked for any connections to potential brain disorders. 56 percent of people evaluated for cognitive impairment had minor to extreme loss of hearing. Surprisingly, a hearing aid was worn by only 20 percent of those people.

These findings are backed up by patients who think they might have symptoms of Alzheimer’s according to a clinical neuropsychologist who authored the study. In some instances, it was a patient’s loved ones who suggested the appointment because they noticed memory lapses or diminished attention.

The Line is Blurred Between Hearing Loss And Alzheimer’s

While hearing loss may not be the first thing an older adult thinks of when dealing with potential cognitive decline, it’s easy to see how one can confuse it with Alzheimer’s.

Having your friend ask you for a favor is a situation that you can be easily imagined. Case in point, let’s say they need a ride to the airport for an upcoming trip. What if you didn’t hear their question clearly? Would you ask them to repeat themselves? If you still aren’t certain what they said, is there any possible way you would know that you were supposed to drive them to the airport?

It’s likely that some people could have misdiagnosed themselves with Alzheimer’s because of this type of thinking according to hearing professionals. Instead, it may very well be an ongoing and progressive hearing problem. Bottom line, you can’t remember something that you don’t hear to begin with.

There Are Ways to Treat Gradual Hearing Loss Which is a Normal Condition

It’s not surprising that people of an advanced age are experiencing these problems given the correlation between aging and the likelihood of having hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that just 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling loss of hearing. Meanwhile, that number rises considerably for older age brackets, coming in at 8.5 percent for 55- to 64-year-olds; 25 percent for 65- to 74-year-olds; and 50 percent for people 75-years or older.

Gradual loss of hearing, which is a part of aging, often goes untreated because people just accept it as a normal part of life. In fact, it takes around 10 years on average for a person to seek treatment for loss of hearing. Worse, less than 25 percent of people who need hearing aids will ultimately buy them.

Is it Possible That You Could be Suffering From Hearing Loss?

If you’ve ever truly wondered if you were one of the millions of Americans with hearing loss severe enough that it needs to be addressed, there are a number of revealing signs you should consider. Consider the following questions:

  • If there is a lot of background sound, do I have a problem comprehending words?
  • Do I try to avoid social situations because holding a conversation in a loud room is hard?
  • Do I have to crank up the radio or TV to hear them.
  • How often do I have to ask people to speak louder or slower?
  • Is hearing consonants difficult?

Science has definitely found a connection between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s, however they are not the same. A Johns Hopkins study followed 639 people who noted no cognitive impairment over a 12 to 18 year period studying their progress and aging. The research found that the worse the hearing loss at the beginning of the study, the more likely the person was to develop symptoms of dementia which is a term that refers to impaired thought and memory.

There is one way you might be able to eliminate any potential confusion between loss of hearing and Alzheimer’s, and that is to undergo a hearing test. The prevailing thought in the health care community is that this evaluating should be a regular part of your annual physical, especially for people who are over 65.

Have Questions About Hearing Loss?

We can help with a full hearing assessment if you think there may be a possibility you might be confusing hearing loss with Alzheimer’s. Schedule your appointment for an exam today.

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today