With the aggravation of the aging society, many elderly patients have different degrees of Alzheimer’s disease. Many people think it’s because of their age. They all think it’s the same when they get old. It’s a common problem for the elderly that their ability to respond and understand declines. Is it true? In the following scenario, many families exist:

“It’s strange that my mother’s voice is getting louder and louder recently. She doesn’t agree to call her. She’s insensitive, and her granddaughter doesn’t care.” this is a common occurrence of many elderly people in Taiwan. It has become a common disease among the elderly. Foreign studies have also pointed out that there is a correlation between hearing loss and dementia in the elderly. Because hearing impaired people are prone to anxiety in life and are unwilling to interact with others, the incidence of dementia is 40% higher than that of healthy hearing peers on average.

According to the recent statistics of Taiwan’s Ministry of health and welfare, 75% of the people over 60 years old have hearing loss, which has become one of the most common diseases among the elderly, the China Times reported.

What is dementia?

There are many ways to call dementia in Taiwan. The mainland of China is also called dementia and Hong Kong is also called brain degeneration.

Why is Alzheimer’s related to hearing?

It is generally believed that the old-age hearing loss is irreversible and does not occur only in old age. Because of the degeneration of the cochlea or the auditory nerve of the inner ear, the sensorineural function becomes worse. Inner ear hair cells are responsible for perceiving sound and parsing, but due to the excessive damage of cells due to aging, noise and disease, this situation can not be recovered, resulting in communication difficulties between middle-aged and old people and others, and even causing misunderstanding of others, affecting social ability, low mood, and finally may lead to mental illness and induce dementia. The results show that the proportion of dementia in the elderly with hearing loss is 40% higher than that in the same age with normal hearing, and the degree of mental decline is directly proportional to the degree of hearing degradation. Most people with normal hearing begin to have mild hearing loss from the age of 45.

Is it difficult for the elderly to find early hearing loss?

This is a problem that most people are troubled by. Many people’s first reaction after hearing loss is that they can recover their lost hearing by taking medicine, injection, etc. However, sensorineural hearing loss in the elderly is a natural aging phenomenon, which is difficult to be solved by treatment. In this context, many people choose to let it go, so that the hearing loss gradually increases, and they don’t “buy” hearing aids until they affect their lives. The popular science of audiology is not as popular as vision or oral cavity, and it is easy to fall into the vortex of information confusion.

99.9% of them didn’t pay much attention to early hearing loss. Because most human speech sounds are mainly in the low range, and most people’s hearing loss is the high frequency first degradation, so they can hardly feel it, and there is no habit of regular hearing inspection, so the hearing loss is more intangible in the infringement of hearing, when we find it, it is often more serious. Therefore, it is suggested that the middle-aged and elderly people over 45 years old should have a hearing test every year to avoid more and more serious hearing loss by early detection, early intervention and early treatment.

Does hearing loss matter?

Many people believe that hearing loss is a natural phenomenon when people are old and do not need treatment or intervention, which comes from the common tradition of avoiding diseases and avoiding medical treatment. But when hearing loss leads to serious damage to the quality of life, it has been delayed for more than five years. At this time, the ability of speech discrimination has become poor, and the long-term hearing loss without intervention has been delayed for more than 8 years, and the intelligence may also decline with it. The greater the degree of hearing loss, the greater the degree of intelligence decline.

Listening is one of the bridges between human beings and the outside world. It is as important as vision and feeling, but it is the most neglected one. Hearing loss is not only a physiological problem, but also a social and interpersonal problem. Therefore, if hearing loss occurs to the elderly at home, for example, they often can’t hear others’ words clearly, can’t hear the voice of the telephone clearly, the sound of the TV is louder and louder, or tinnitus and insomnia are more and more frequent, please check and equip hearing aids as soon as possible, accept hearing intervention, and treat as soon as possible to avoid the continuous deterioration of hearing, so as to avoid the risk of dementia to the greatest extent.

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