Alzheimer’s Disease is more common than you might think. In fact, it’s one of the top causes of death among older adults, along with cardiovascular disease and cancer. September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and Alzheimer’s Disease International spends this month raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as well as encouraging seniors to do the right thing for their brain. One way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease it to treat your hearing loss, and keep your brain healthy as you age. If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from Alzheimer’s, here are 4 early signs of dementia.
One of the first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease is memory loss. It might start as misplacing something and not being able to remember where it is, but soon you’ll experience problems in short term memory. Did you check the mail this morning, remember to water the plants, or eat a healthy breakfast? Seniors sometimes have minor memory problems and might forget these things occasionally, they’ll usually remember later. However, the memory loss that comes with Alzheimer’s isn’t just an annoyance, it disrupts daily life, and makes it difficult to function. Eventually, those with dementia forget what’s happened in the last few years, or even fail to recognize loved ones.
Problems with Reasoning Skills
Those with Alzheimer’s Disease experience difficulty in planning and problem solving. It can be impossible to come up with and implement a plan, whether it’s something simple like walking the dog, or taking a shower. They may have difficulty following a recipe they’ve made a hundred times before, or doing simple accounting tasks like paying monthly bills. Making a few errors is a normal part of aging, but not being able to concentrate, or taking twice as long to complete tasks is an early warning sign of dementia.
Everyone has moments of confusion, but these become more and more pronounced for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. Have you ever realized that you have no idea what day of the week it is? After a minute or two you’ll be able to figure out what day and month it is. However, someone living with dementia will lose track of dates, times, and seasons, and may even forget where they are or how they got there.
It’s common for someone with Alzheimer’s disease to undergo changes in personality and mood, and begin to withdraw from social situations. They may stop engaging in familiar hobbies, sports, or work projects since these tasks have become difficult. They might be unwilling to meet with friends because they feel embarrassed by their changes in mood and ability, and choose to stay home rather than face loved ones.
Reducing Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
If you worried about Alzheimer’s Disease, or have noticed any of these early signs of Alzheimer’s, there is something you can do to keep your brain healthy.
Have you been living with untreated hearing loss? If you struggle to hear, find yourself feeling confused or left out of conversations, or can’t communicate like you used to, then not only are you reducing your quality of life, you’re also increasing your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Many studies have shown clear links between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s, and it’s not hard to see why. Alzheimer’s Disease disrupts the neural connections in your brain, and weakens or destroys cells. Hearing loss also weakens the brain, since auditory regions of your brain aren’t being used fully. On top of that you’re not as active as you used to be, avoid meeting friends, and are not exercising your brain.
Treating Hearing Loss
A quality pair of hearing aids can change everything. Not only will it be easy to follow conversations and be actively engaged in your social life, you’ll also be willing to say yes to new experiences, get out of the house more, and exercise your brain. A healthy brain is the best way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and slow its progress.
For all your hearing needs, from a hearing assessment to hearing aid fittings to maintenance and repairs, visit us at Atlanta Hearing Doctor and start your journey towards clear hearing.