Hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia

Common health conditions in older people such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can contribute to hearing loss. Viruses and bacteria can lead to ear infections (otitis media), a heart condition, stroke, brain injury or a tumor may also affect the hearing.

Genetic variation can cause hearing loss as well. Please remember that not all the inherited forms of hearing loss are evident at birth. Some forms can show up later in life, like otosclerosis, which is thought to be hereditary disease.

Studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have a greater risk developing dementia than their peers with normal hearing. Hearing loss can be misdiagnosed as dementia or will make the symptoms of dementia appear worse. Healthy aging is assured by identifying early and managing in a timely manner the hearing loss, for all categories of patients. Has been proved and recommended that earlier provision of hearing aids be held to mental health. Furthermore, treating hearing loss in people diagnosed with dementia reduces the severity of dementia related behaviours as confusion and simplify communication with carers and family.

What everything we have talked about has to do with the ear wax, you may ask? Earwax or fluid buildup can also cause hearing loss by blocking sounds that are carried from the eardrum to the inner ear. If wax blockage is a problem, your doctor may suggest mild treatments to soften earwax. In our clinic we provide treatment for ear wax removal. Remember that hearing loss can make symptoms of dementia appear worse.

Resources: https://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/mod/book/view.php?id=12532&chapterid=293

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