Latest posts by Mark Rahman, BC-HIS (see all)
- Can Hearing Loss Be Cured? - October 22, 2019
- Growing Evidence that Noise is Bad for Your Health - September 29, 2019
- Tired of Loud Restaurants? This App Will Help - September 24, 2019
World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign annually in September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. September 2019 will mark the 8th World Alzheimer’s Month. Every 68 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.
Approximately 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. World Alzheimer’s Month aims to help establish and strengthen associations around the world and to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia. ‘
Effects of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive type of dementia that leads to problems in memory, behavior, and thinking. It is the most common form of dementia, which is a group of brain disorders that lead to the loss of social and intellectual abilities causing interference with activities of daily living. For people who have Alzheimer’s disease, the connections between brain cells slowly break down and die, which causes a progressive decline in mental function. It’s vital to remember that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, even though the most indicative risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is growing older.
Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by structures in the brain called plaques and tangles that damage the cells in the brain. Plaques are deposits of a protein fragment that collect in the spaces between nerve fibers. Tangles are twisted protein fiber that builds up inside cells. While all people develop both plaques and tangles, people who have Alzheimer’s disease develop much more in a far more predictable pattern, spreading from areas of the brain that control memory to other parts of the brain.
The Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is called a “progressive” disease, meaning that its symptoms usually start slowly and are mild. A person’s brain function and ability for self care to decline over time. In the later stages of the disease, a person who has Alzheimer’s is no longer able to communicate and depends entirely on other people for care. The best-known symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss but there are many other symptoms associated with the condition. Two of these are a change in social behaviors and an increase in anxiety. This aspect of the condition can cause great distress to both the person affected and their career.
Treating hearing loss can lower risk of Alzheimer’s
Seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing, a study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers suggests. The findings, the researchers say, could lead to new ways to fight dementia.
Although the reason for the link between the two conditions is unknown, the investigators suggest that a common pathology may underlie both or that the strain of decoding sounds over the years may overwhelm the brains of people with hearing loss, leaving them more vulnerable to dementia. They also speculate that hearing loss could lead to dementia by making individuals more socially isolated, a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders.
Whatever the cause, the scientists report, their finding may offer a starting point for interventions — even as simple as hearing aids — that could delay or prevent dementia by improving patients’ hearing. Scientific studies have shown that the use of hearing aids reduces the risk of cognitive decline and of developing dementia. A large French scientific study, which has followed nearly 3,800 people for a 25-years period, has found that seniors and elderly people who say that they have a hearing loss and do not use hearing aids are at a much higher risk of dementia. The study also found that those who used hearing aids eliminated the increased risk of dementia.
Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center
Acknowledge World Alzheimer’s Month with us at Gulf Gate hearing Aid Center this September. If you suspect you have hearing loss, it’s never too early to get your hearing tested. Contact us to set up a hearing test so you can know for sure if a hearing loss is present and start preventing Alzheimer’s now.