Hearing problems can indicate dementia
Some symptoms of dementia are difficult to detect at an early stage of the disease and vary from person to person. However, many people are not aware of an important and very early warning signal for Alzheimer's: if you notice that your hearing is deteriorating, this can indicate dementia.
In a press release, the Alzheimer’s Society reports that hearing loss can indicate dementia. However, many people are not aware of this typical symptom of dementia.
What is dementia?
Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms that, according to the NHS, are associated with a persistent decrease in brain function. There are several types of dementia, but the most common is Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is thought to be caused by an abnormal build-up of proteins in and around the brain.
Poor hearing can indicate dementia
If you notice that your hearing is deteriorating, there is an increased risk of developing dementia. For example, hearing loss can make you feel increasingly confused in everyday life or have difficulty following a conversation. It is still unknown why some people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia, the experts at the charity explain.
Gradual hearing loss in old age is natural
Many people with dementia also suffer from hearing loss. It is normal for people to develop gradual hearing loss as they age. However, suffering from both conditions can be a real challenge for sufferers. There are many ways that people with hearing loss and dementia can live a comfortable life.
If you have hearing difficulties, you should see a doctor
It is often difficult to separate the signs of hearing loss from those of dementia. Here one illness can cover the other. It is therefore important that people with dementia regularly take a hearing test. If you have hearing difficulties, speak to a family doctor, who can refer you to a specialist, who will then check the quality of your hearing. Tests performed there can be specially adapted for people with dementia. But not only an obvious hearing loss indicates a risk of dementia. If you have trouble keeping track or if you notice subtle changes in your personality, this could also indicate dementia. Talk to a doctor if you are concerned about the signs of dementia or if you think you may be more likely to develop dementia.
How can the risk of dementia be reduced?
Unfortunately, there are still no ways to prevent dementia from developing, but you can still lower your risk. A healthy and balanced diet helps to reduce the risk of dementia. It is also important to have enough exercise and exercise. Ideally, people should exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity each week. The World Health Organization (WHO) has published guidelines on this subject that are designed to protect against cognitive decline and dementia. (as)