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Elderly Hearing Loss or Elderly Dementia?

There is an established link between degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s - senile dementia - and hearing loss. Research shows that hearing loss not only exacerbates the symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia, but may also be an important risk factor. 

Also, many symptoms of hearing loss, such as difficulty in understanding and communicating, are similar to some of those found in Alzheimer’s. For example, both Alzheimer’s and hearing loss are known to affect speech and language skills. 

However, there is evidence to suggest that many elderly people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s don’t undergo tests to rule out hearing loss. That is unfortunate, because in studies more than one-third of patients diagnosed with memory and hearing loss were reclassified to a less severe category of dementia once the hearing problem was treated. 

Correcting hearing loss also allows people with diminished cognitive function to listen to music, which has been proven to be beneficial to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, in one study people with mid-to late-stage dementia who had one-hour personalized music therapy sessions three times a week, were able to boost their cognitive functions by an average of 50 percent within less than a year. 

To learn more about the importance of treating hearing loss in persons with Alzheimer’s and dementia, visit: Treating Hearing Loss Important for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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