Did you know that people who suffer hearing loss are more prone to developing dementia?

Alex

Administrator
Staff Member
#1
Dementia is a condition affecting individuals mainly above 65 years of age, which is caused by memory loss and other mental inabilities. Currently, dementia has no known effective cure, making it a high risk and highly expensive disease to manage.

A report by Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care shows that there are nine age related factors that cause dementia. Key among factors is hearing loss. Managing hearing loss is one of the ways one can lower the chances of developing dementia. The key nine factors that lead to development of dementia are...

Read more: https://www.hearex.com/blogs/news/research-shows-hearing-loss-as-a-major-cause-for-dementia

What do you guys think? Many of you here are deaf, so have you personally experienced some type of memory loss or dementia, or know anyone who did?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
#2
My thought is that it may affect late-deafened people more because they were used to communicating using their hearing and now struggle to keep in communication with others.
 

MCB

Active Member
#3
I suspect that age-related hearing loss (usually not in the range most of us experience) is a symptom of Alzheimer's. My mother lost her senses of taste and smell early in the process. However, I intend on keeping up with my progressive loss, and my intellectual pursuits, just in case there are things I can do to prevent it or slow it down.
 

SilverRoxy

Deaf/ASL user
Premium Member
#5
I don't wear hearing aids or cochlear implant. I'm profoundly deaf. Does that mean it is very likely that I will get dementia in old age?
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
#6
My thought is that it may affect late-deafened people more because they were used to communicating using their hearing and now struggle to keep in communication with others.
I agree. When communication becomes more difficult the older adult tends to withdraw from socializing and activities. Thus, they get less mental stimulation.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#7
*knock on wood*...I'm still a very social person even tho' I'm profound deaf....there are times too, when I get a little depressed because people sometimes do ignore me, feeling a little left out. Feel the key is to keep up with the daily news, have a sense of humor too. If I were born deaf, then feel I would have more of a problem than being late-deafened, since I lip read and am still vocal...thanking my old English teacher for telling me this. I do find crowds of people somewhat annoying and prefer a small group, even one-on-one.
 

Beowulf

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#8
My thought is that it may affect late-deafened people more because they were used to communicating using their hearing and now struggle to keep in communication with others.
I agree. When communication becomes more difficult the older adult tends to withdraw from socializing and activities. Thus, they get less mental stimulation.
Ditto. My understanding is that the cognitive auditory processing part of the brain doesn't develop until about age fifteen, and it seems that figuring out each third word you miss in communicating later on is enough mental stimulation, but it doesn't work that way---they usually withdraw from the attempts.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
#10
*knock on wood*...I'm still a very social person even tho' I'm profound deaf....there are times too, when I get a little depressed because people sometimes do ignore me, feeling a little left out. Feel the key is to keep up with the daily news, have a sense of humor too. If I were born deaf, then feel I would have more of a problem than being late-deafened, since I lip read and am still vocal...thanking my old English teacher for telling me this. I do find crowds of people somewhat annoying and prefer a small group, even one-on-one.
I was referring to late late-deafened adults who have been hearing until at least late middle-age.
 

MCB

Active Member
#12
Not a bad idea at all, though you do need human interaction.
Have you taken the MENSA test? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. 'Course, some folk would say that's cheating. :)
LOL. Well-tested, no need to cheat. 130 at my best or close. These days, with gabapentin and exhaustion from my back problems, more like 90 at times.
 
#13
I am an older guy, and I can tell you that everything gets a little more difficult...walking, sleeping, eating (you got to cut out a lot of things to stay healthy)...I cannot say I am getting an indication of dementia...I have misplaced things all my life....When my parents gave me my first key to the house, I lost it....

It is a mater of keeping yourself healthy and active...The old people that I know (I mean really old, like around 90) are the ones that get up every day and get out to at least walk around the front of their houses and talk to neighbors, get on the community bus and go to bingo or whatever...And they simply do not eat that much...You do not see 90 year olds with turkey necks and pot bellies.
 

MCB

Active Member
#15
I wonder what the results would be if they did the same test with a control group of late deaf who decided to learn to sign.
I attended a sign language class with a couple, he was in a mental slide. He couldn't learn new stuff. That is a pervasive symptom of Alzheimer's. She was very disappointed. I suspect CODA's with Alzheimer's could function better for longer, because they have alternative paths to communication.

Higher IQ people function better for longer, simply because the brain wiring is better. But eventually they also have the severe problems. Those personality characteristics and activities that are associated with better functioning into very old age only delay the severe deficits and therefore the diagnosis.

In summary, many of the risk and protective factors for dementia in the young elderly are not relevant for the oldest-old. Out of the reviewed factors, only age was consistently associated with dementia in the oldest-old.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678827/
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
#16
I can relate to the social isolation resulting from communication problems. My hearing is fine; it's my speech skills that are deteriorating due to Parkinson's Disease. It makes chatting an uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing burden. So, I don't attempt to converse or socialize as much. I know my mental abilities are also deteriorating as a result.
 

MCB

Active Member
#17
OH, Reba!! Now I understand the boxing gloves. :( At least you have :type:.

This morning I woke up to 18-hour-old coffee.

Yesterday at Mass, my walking-stick started sliding off the pew in front. I reflexively caught it, quickly as a rattlesnake. I was amazed! The difference between my right and left sides is becoming more and more pronounced as we break down the compensations I have built up over the years. Multiple modes of treatment for my back pain.

I finally saw my MRI from a month ago, and I have a small spot way at the back. I have noticed the past ten years that in dim light I sometimes have difficulty recognizing objects, and I don't like to drive at night. Now I know why.
 
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#18
Dementia is a condition affecting individuals mainly above 65 years of age, which is caused by memory loss and other mental inabilities. Currently, dementia has no known effective cure, making it a high risk and highly expensive disease to manage.

...

What do you guys think? Many of you here are deaf, so have you personally experienced some type of memory loss or dementia, or know anyone who did?
I'm a senior. I was born with a hearing loss at a time it couldn't be diagnosed (doctors thought I was developmentally slow (or whatever the term was back then)). A parent just went to a store one day and purchased a HA when I was @10. My school grades went from potentially being held back a year to As and Bs. Hearing can be amazing.

As I got older, I experienced more and more of a loss until it was just severe then mostly severe/profound then profound. I had a career but it became more and more difficult to function well. I became more and more confused and developed tinnitus that's very distracting. I've worn a CI for @3 yrs now and in my head, there is no quality to it. It remains mechanical and duck-like. I've withdrawn and speak to few people and am still an extrovert so this is a difficult position for me.

That's the background. My memory is getting bad. I get confused enough that I finally went to a neuropsychologist as my spouse was concerned. Would it be worthwhile to have testing done to answer the scary question - was it early onset dementia? The conclusion was due to my hearing loss, tinnitus (that doesn't shut off), and withdrawal it's not dementia but has that appearance to those close to me and each person is unique. I currently don't have dementia but on close inspection or interaction, some folks might wonder :) .

Your question is an excellent one. I wish I could give you a definitive answer but I don't believe there is one.
 
#19
I think it's possible, but only in the older stage, as dementia doesn't occur in the young. Perhaps it is because most deaf individuals have trouble with quick comprehension due to hearing loss.
 
#20
Hearing loss exacerbates the symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia. Therefore it is very important to take care of your hearing loss. Don't risk becoming socially isolated due to not wanting to wear hearing aids. My aunt was in her late 60's and was unable to hear properly. But she didn't pay attention towards this which lead to dementia. Later she was treated with hearing aids but was shifted to dementia care Morris NJ to enjoy in the proper and healthy environment.
 

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