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Hearing Loss Often Masquerades as Dementia

By Julie Hubik August 15, 2019

Elderly people with diminished cognitive skills often worry about having Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. In reality, the truth might be far less scary and easier to remedy. Research suggests that at least in some cases, people who worry about dementia may actually have hearing loss.

Various reports now suggest that the symptoms of dementia are actually a result of untreated loss of hearing. Hearing loss does indeed impair cognitive skills as a result of reduced social interactions and diminished communication skills. This can have an adverse effect on memory, which may make it appear as though the affected person has dementia.

Unfortunately, even though such people can easily overcome the challenges of hearing loss through the use of hearing aids, only around 20% of these people actually use them.

In reality, hearing loss is a far more common condition that can easily be treated through the use of hearing aids. By wearing hearing aids, you will actually be improving your cognitive skills and diminishing potential onset of dementia in the future.

People do not take hearing loss as seriously as they should. Since hearing loss is a gradual process that takes years to become noticeable, people may not even realize they have hearing loss until it has progressed to a severe level. By this point it may actually have adverse effects on memory and make it appear as though they have dementia.

The sad part is that it often takes a person longer than a decade to actually accept they have a hearing problem and seek some form of treatment for it. What is even more alarming is that even when people are diagnosed with hearing loss, only around 25% of those people use hearing aids, even though hearing aids have been shown time and time again to restore hearing and thereby improve the memory functions of the user.

Hearing loss has been linked to future onset of dementia, which is why it should not be dismissed as a minor health issue. Loss of hearing is currently ranked as the third most common health problem in America. It has been linked to dementia, heart disease, and even diabetes. With so many negative outcomes of hearing loss, it should be treated at the earliest opportunity through the use of hearing aids.

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