Let’s Discuss How Hearing & Vision Loss Increases The Risk Of Alzheimer’s

Let’s Discuss How Hearing & Vision Loss Increases The Risk Of Alzheimer’s

Before diving into the details of our topic, let’s help you understand some basic information. Alzheimer’s is the most common kind of dementia that significantly affects the mental state of a person. Anyone who has Alzheimer’s faces difficulty keeping track of past events, dates, times, people’s names, etc. This disease is associated with memory loss and the inability to execute tasks that a person was capable of doing efficiently before getting Alzheimer’s.

Those who have Alzheimer’s dementia are sometimes unable to converse with others normally. They face difficulty in speaking words and remembering the topic of the conversation. A study suggests that by 2060, almost 14 million older adults living in America are going to have Alzheimer’s.

Moving on, we are here to discuss the effects of hearing and vision impairment on an individual’s cognitive performance that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. Among other reasons, the most common ones that lead to hearing loss are aging and consistent exposure to loud noises. However, head injuries and ear infections may also lead to such situations. 

To put it simply, your ears stop working effectively and does not send any sounds to the brain for interpretation. Research conducted by a qualified individual concluded that hearing loss doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. Similarly, loss of vision also has negative impacts on a person’s cognitive performance as their brain is unable to interpret the visuals accurately. 

All of it contributes to an individual’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s. What’s important to note is that loss of vision can worsen with time when a person is going through dementia. People may find it challenging to differentiate between colors and recognize objects properly. Needless to say, Alzheimer’s also affects their peripheral vision to a great extent. 

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Understanding The Connection Between Alzheimer’s And Loss Of Hearing & Vision

How does vision and hearing loss boost the risk of someone developing Alzheimer’s? Everyone is now aware that Alzheimer’s dementia has severe effects on a person’s cognitive performance. People become unaware of their surroundings, start to stare at a blank space for a long time, forget things often, get annoyed easily, and suffer from undesirable behavioral changes. 

All of this happens when their brain stops working adequately. Hearing and vision impairments lead to significant changes in our brain. The mind starts to make wrong interpretations about everything we see and hear. This is because the part of our brain responsible for helping us hear and see effectively becomes inactive. 

The inactivity of certain parts of the brain leads to the loss of tissue. All of it inevitably causes severe changes within the structure of the affected person. Your brain starts to shrink gradually, which affects other areas too. Unarguably, this leads to reduced cognitive functions causing the risk of Alzheimer’s to grow drastically. 

This is not the whole picture since vision and hearing impairment affect your brain in another way. When a person’s brain cannot see and hear things correctly the first time, it works overtime to execute its job. In other words, your brain tries harder to interpret visuals and sounds, which leads to exhaustion. 

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Excessive usage of brain power all the time to have a better understanding of your surroundings causes depletion of mental energy. An exhausted brain cannot perform as required. It does not remember things and dramatically affects a person’s behavior. Moreover, people who face such problems are unable to think as they once used to. All of this can lead to cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s dementia.

An overwhelmed brain with inactive parts is the outcome of hearing and vision impairment, setting the stage for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. A third reason is related to social isolation. Our brain experiences positive stimulation when we interact with others. Hearing and vision loss normally causes people to stay indoors, suffering from loneliness and depression. The risk of Alzheimer’s dementia amplifies when we don’t use it for communication purposes by going out. 

This is why treating both conditions, hearing and vision loss, is necessary. Your senses may not become as competent as they once were, but you can use specs to see better and hearing aids to hear more clearly. It is advisable to find a good physician who can conduct a thorough assessment and recommend the best treatment available. 

Impact of Vision and Hearing Loss on Alzheimer's Risk

Conclusion

While you cannot avoid the natural causes of hearing and vision impairment, such as aging, it is possible to ignore the unnatural ones. For instance, if you ride a bike regularly, make sure to wear a helmet as it will protect your head from any fatal injuries in case of an accident. Similarly, don’t use smartphones excessively and maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet that prevents your eyesight from deteriorating.