"This month at House of Hearing, we want to draw attention to Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) and their campaign to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of Alzheimer's disease. This monthÂ sees the 8th World Alzheimer's Month, a global campaign to raise public knowledge of dementia and combat stigmas surrounding the disease. This year's campaign recognizes that speaking about dementia helps to tackle thisÂ stigmaÂ and look for help. It also calls onÂ governments to do more to reduce the effectsÂ of dementia, based on recentÂ recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dementia is an umbrella termÂ forÂ brain disorders that cause an individual'sÂ memory, memory, language, planning orÂ personality to deteriorate over time. The reason for the focus on Alzheimerâ€™s is because 50% to 60% of all instances of dementia are found to be Alzheimer's disease. Dementia has a range of symptoms, such as:
Dementia is one of the most important health and social challenges of the 21st century. Itâ€™s estimated that by 2050, there will be over 152 million people living with the condition worldwide.
There are many causes of dementia. In each case, however, an injury or disease process is responsible for the destruction of brain cells. What could be causing this decline? Although there are many possible causes, most recently a connection has been found between cognitive decline and hearing loss. According to an comprehensive 25-year French study, self-reported hearing loss is linked with rapid cognitive declines in older adults. The research also shows that this cognitive decrease is almost entirely mitigatedÂ through the use of hearing aids. The research found that those withÂ self-reported hearing loss were more likely to experience cognitive decline. But in respondents using hearing aids, the reverse statistical trend was found. Rates ofÂ cognitive decline inÂ those who woreÂ hearing aids wasÂ same asÂ those who reported noÂ hearingÂ loss.
Research is currently underway on the correlation between hearing loss and dementia. One potential reason is that, if the brain is working hard toÂ listen to and comprehend conversations,Â less energy will be left to other cognitive tasks. ThisÂ acceleratesÂ cognitive decline. The other theory revolves around social contact. The common reaction to not being able to understand other people in noisy places is the slow retreat of the individual from public life. A lack of human interaction means certain parts of the brain remain underused, leading to a risk of brain atrophy.
The French researchÂ doesÂ not imply that hearing loss affects cognitive degeneration directly, but that a hearing loss may have mental and social impacts that could helpÂ createÂ conditions for dementia. An improvement in the capacity to hear through the use of listening devices or cochlear implants therefore decreases the adverse mental impacts of hearing loss and enhances the capacity to take part in cognitive stimulus, such as social activities. Hearing aids canÂ boost social interactions and increase the abilityÂ toÂ participate in conversations. This helps slow cognitive decay.
Studies indicate that individuals wait between three and five years to get hearing loss treated once it is found. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is that yourÂ brain will begin to forget how to perceive and process sound. Then those parts of your brain begin to shrink, speedingÂ up cognitive decline. In order to stand the best chance of preventing Dementia, itâ€™s important to remain as socially connected as possible. In order to do this, you should look after your hearing health and treat hearing loss as soon as you suspect you may have it.
Early intervention is the best wayÂ to slowÂ downÂ cognitive decline. It starts with a regular hearing test with us here at House of Hearing. If your hearing has changed, it's even more important to get tested as soon as you can. People wait far too long to do something about their hearing loss, and this can have serious implications for your social life and your brain health. Contact us at House of Hearing today for an appointment."