Dr. Cynthia L. Ellison, Au.D
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Since September is World Alzheimer’s Month, let’s take a little bit of time to learn more about the connection between hearing loss and your brain. Did you know that 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease? In the past, those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease faced a lot of negative stigma, and changes in their personality, or their struggles to remember things, meant they weren’t treated as individuals, with dignity and respect. This month, we’re joining hundreds of organizations around the world to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, its signs and symptoms, and how looking after your hearing health could prevent the disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. It affects your thoughts, emotions, and memories. Those with Alzheimer’s Disease struggle to remember events or important facts, can’t find the right words to express themselves, and often get stuck midway through routine tasks, such as washing the dishes or getting dressed. Alzheimer’s Disease is more common among seniors, but is not a normal part of aging, and should be taken very seriously. Younger adults can also develop Alzheimer’s, but it’s not very common.

Alzheimer’s is caused by a build-up of protein cells in the brain called plaques and tangles. These two types of cells damage the connections between regions of the brain, and inhibit functioning of certain brain structures, particularly those responsible for short- and long-term memory, language, and reasoning.

Is Memory Loss Always a Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease?

One of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. But how do you know when memory loss is more than just forgetfulness, and a sign of something far more serious? When your loved one occasionally forgets the name of someone they just met, or misplaces something, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have Alzheimer’s. Signs of memory loss that point to dementia or Alzheimer’s include getting lost in a familiar place like your own neighborhood, and struggling to complete routine tasks. Another common sign of Alzheimer’s is difficulty with money, and getting easily confused when paying at a restaurant or paying the bills. Be on the lookout for mood swings, personality changes, or unusual behaviors. These are all telltale signs of Alzheimer’s.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

While researchers still don’t know exactly what causes the unhealthy growth of these cells in the brain, they do know what some of the risk factors are. To prevent or reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, take a look at your lifestyle, and form good habits. Eating a well-balanced diet will lots of vegetables and whole foods is good for your body and brain. Regular exercise will keep you healthy and active, and give you energy for doing the things you love. Avoid smoking or drinking excessively, and control your high blood pressure.

How Hearing Aids Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Along with having a healthy body, having clear hearing will greatly reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, and help you have a healthy brain. When you treat your hearing loss with a quality pair of hearing aids, you’ll be able to have conversations with ease, whether in your own kitchen, at the restaurant, or when you run into friends at the mall. You’ll be more active and enjoy a vibrant social life. With clear hearing, you’ll be more engaged during conversations. This is great exercise for your brain, and will keep your brain active and healthy.

Hearing aids will also give you motivation to meet new people, start a new hobby, or learn a new skill. These activities strengthen the connections in your brain, add new neural pathways, and keep your brain healthy, reducing your chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Franklin Hearing Center

Ready to treat your hearing loss, get more active, and exercise your brain? This September participate in World Alzheimer’s Month and take control of your hearing health. We’ll help you find the perfect device to help you hear in every listening environment, and give you back your confidence. You’ll hear easily no matter where you are, and rather than using your energy straining to hear, you’ll be able to enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Do the right thing for your brain, and call us today at Franklin Hearing Center to book a consultation and hearing test.