Turning to the see the person talking; moving closer to the speaker; withdrawing from social activities; complaining that people mumble; strain on family and personal relationships; fatigued; hearing but not understanding what’s being said; asking people to repeat themselves; prone to anxiety and/or depression; difficulty understanding conversation in a group setting; inability to focus and pay attention; and, giving unrelated responses to conversation.
If you guessed these are symptoms of hearing loss, you’re only half right.
Actually, these symptoms also could be used to describe people with memory loss, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Hearing Loss Amplifies Memory Loss
Over the last several years, research has shown a correlation between hearing loss and memory loss, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, hearing loss is often confused with or complicates dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have shown that hearing loss not only exacerbates the symptoms of memory loss, but it could also be an important risk factor – there is a correlation between the severity of cognitive decline and degree of hearing loss.
A 1980's study concluded that 33 percent of 30 patients diagnosed with senile dementia and a significant hearing loss were reclassified to a less severe category of dementia once the hearing loss was addressed.
Hearing Tests for Alzheimer's Patients
If you or anyone you know has memory loss or is displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, encourage them to have their hearing tested.
Contact one of our southern Maryland hearing centers to schedule an appointment with an experienced audiologist.