ENT problems

Will Hearing Loss Cause Alzheimer’s Disease and Vice Versa?

This is a question that people with hearing loss or with families experiencing hearing loss often ask. We understand because there seems to be a connection between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease, such as when an older person with Alzheimer’s disease also diagnosed with hearing loss.

 

Studies Suggest a Link

Researchers have looked into the possible connections between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease, a disease characterized by the decline in cognitive function and memory capability. Johns Hopkins University researchers, for example, have conducted several long-term tracking studies abut it

 

In one study, they monitored senior people over several years to determine which of them developed Alzheimer’s including their rate of progression. Their studies show that seniors with hearing loss have higher rates of dementia, a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. They also found that the greater the hearing loss, the higher the risk for dementia.

 

The bottom line: Yes, indeed, there seems to be a strong link between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Theories Behind the Connection

But before you jump to conclusions, perhaps think of the worst scenarios, keep in mind that these studies only show the connection. But these studies don’t suggest that progressive hearing loss can result in dementia, far from it!

 

Researchers propose a few theories in explaining the link between these two conditions.

 

  • Changes in brain function

The brain has an area that controls the processing of auditory information and, thus, of the sense of hearing. But when its function is compromised or strained, such as in hearing loss, it causes a restructuring in the brain. In turn, it can affect cognitive function.

 

  • Cognitive overload

With hearing loss, your brain works harder to make sense of the words being said by other people. You spend more mental energy and work on conversations so much so that your brain goes into cognitive overload. As such, your brain doesn’t have enough energy for other cognitive functions including memory.

 

  • Social isolation

Unfortunately, social isolation has serious impact on physical and mental health. When you have untreated hearing loss, you’re more likely to feel isolated from everyday conversations. You can feel alienated and alone, which can adversely affect your cognitive function.

 

These are, of course, just theories at present. But these provide reasonable explanations for the link between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

What do these studies mean for people with hearing loss and with Alzheimer’s disease? We suggest being rational about it, first and foremost! Just because you have hearing loss doesn’t automatically mean that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

 

You may want instead to seek medical intervention for your hearing loss. You may or may not need hearing aids but it pays to know the reasons for your hearing loss and what can be done about it.

 

If you think your family needs a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

http://www.hkhearingspeech.com

Tips on Social Distancing as a Person with Hearing Loss

The restrictions on movement brought by the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more challenging for people with hearing loss to communicate and connect with others. Just imagine wanting to enjoy conversations with family and friends yet not being able to because of quarantine restrictions. Your frustrations may be greater because before you started wearing hearing aids, you couldn’t communicate well with others.

 

But don’t get carried away by your emotions about being cooped up at home when you want to be socializing. You can still socialize with family and friends while still adopting social distancing measures, as well as enjoy your time in quarantine. Here are a few tips that we think are effective.

 

Use Technology to Stay Connected

We live at a time when technology makes it so fast and easy to communicate with people halfway around the world. You then have no excuse to be disconnected from your family even when you’re not in the same room! You have Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype and Facetime as well as the social media websites that can be your bridge between you and your family and friends.

 

Call and video chat your family and friends every day, if possible, so you don’t feel alone. Besides, your calls may also be a lifeline for them since they are also cooped up at home.

 

If you’re having difficulties hearing others on the phone or on video chats, you can use the captioned feature – the texts of your conversation will be reflected on the screen. You will also naturally revert to reading facial expressions, perhaps even lip reading, when you’re on video chat.

 

Create a Daily Routine

You may want to set a routine so that there’s something familiar you can look forward to every day. You may find it comforting amidst the uncertainty of the times. You may even find it less stressful since a daily routine means being in control.

 

Start by listing down the activities that you should do on a daily basis, from waking up to sleeping, getting work done and relaxing, and from resting to exercising. But you don’t have to be gung-ho about following your daily routine! You are, after all, the master of your time now that you’re at home for most, if not all, of the day.

 

Learn Something New

Perhaps you’ve been putting off learning to bake, cook or knit. Perhaps you didn’t have the time before. So many perhaps but your time in quarantine is a great time to remove these perhaps in your life! You can learn something new, read new books and even starting a new business.

 

None of us wants to have physical distance from our family and friends in keeping with the social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. But we have to do our part in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus while still being connected to the outside world.

 

If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.

 

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

http://www.hkhearingspeech.com

Lifestyle Changes for Better Hearing

Lifestyle Changes for Better Hearing

 

When people talk about lifestyle changes the things that come to mind are dieting to lose weight, quitting smoking and financial management, but you can take the same approach and protect your hearing. The thing about hearing protection is that it’s so easy to do provided you’re willing to carry through.

 

Know the Signs of Hearing Loss

Signs of hearing loss include straining to hear sounds that everyone around can hear, as well as feeling “lost” when in the midst of a group conversation. Tinnitus symptoms include hearing a roaring, buzzing or clicking noise, so if any of these manifest consult an ENT specialist. Continue reading

How Drinking Affects Hearing

How Drinking Affects Hearing

 

There’s nothing quite like celebrating a special occasion with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, but if you drink too much alcohol, it’s not just your liver at risk but hearing as well. According to hearing healthcare professionals, too much drinking can damage the auditory cortex in the brain and shrink it.

 

Drinking and the Brain

The auditory nerve is responsible for transmitting auditory data to your brain from the cochlea. What this means is there’s the possibility that your brain won’t be able to process the information even though your ears are healthy. In addition, there’s evidence which shows that drinking too much alcohol produces an unhealthy environment in your ears, causing hair cell damage. Continue reading

Cigarettes Linked to Hearing Loss

Cigarettes Linked to Hearing Loss

 

You’re probably aware that smoking leads to cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems and so on. Now you can add hearing loss to the list as studies show smokers are more likely to need hearing aids than nonsmokers.

 

What the Studies Show

As far back as 1962, hearing health experts suspected that cigarettes were responsible for many cases of hearing loss, and now the latest research confirms it. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, smokers have a 70% greater chance to suffer hearing loss than nonsmokers, and nonsmokers are twice likely to maintain healthy hearing for the long term. Continue reading

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