September is World Alzheimer’s Month

September is World Alzheimer’s Month

Ron Middleton Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease

Ron Middleton

Ron has been a part of the Lifestyle team helping people hear better since 2005. Before joining our team, Ron served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. As a Master Sergeant, he was Superintendent of Wing Aircrew Life Support and oversaw a staff of nearly 100. For the past decade, Ron has contributed to the community through leadership roles in the Tucson Downtown Lions Club.
Ron Middleton

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As we grow older, we notice a lot of changes in our body. We also tend to develop more diseases because our immune system is becoming weaker. When it comes to our brain’s health, memory loss is our number one enemy. Our brain is responsible for controlling our body, and when it fails, consequences arise. One of the most common conditions associated with extreme memory loss and failure of the brain to demonstrate cognitive abilities is Alzheimer’s disease. According to the latest statistics, there are 5.8 million Americans who are living with the disease, and most of them are people who are 65 years of age and older. However, it does not mean that the younger ones could not get the disease – a younger individual can develop Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, normally affecting people who are 65 years old and above. People tend to confuse the term dementia with Alzheimer’s disease, but what the people should always remember is that the former umbrella term and Alzheimer’s disease is just one of its types. According to scientists, there are more than one hundred types of dementia, and people who have it are having problems with their brain’s health.
People who acquired Alzheimer’s disease showcase the same symptoms – extreme memory loss, issues with thinking and cognitive abilities, and changing behavior. The symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease develop slowly for a long time, and it gets worse. It might have a serious effect on one’s daily task, especially if it was not treated.

Why is it important for the public to understand the disease?

There are many misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease, and the public needs to be informed better about the nature of the disease so they can understand people who might have it. Households that have seniors who are showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease should be more careful with their loved one, and they need to be more understanding especially when it comes to their changing behaviors.
Contrary to what many people believe, a normal aging pattern does not include the development of Alzheimer’s disease. People who are 65 years of age and older have the highest risk, but new studies confirm that it can also happen to young ones. In the United States alone, 200,000 young Americans are diagnosed with the disease.

Another thing that the people should know about Alzheimer’s disease is how it progresses over time. During the first phases of the disease, people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will show signs of memory loss, or difficulties thinking. Most people would attribute these symptoms as signs of aging, and what’s worse is that it is frequently ignored. Without treatment, Alzheimer’s disease would progress, worsening over time. Because of how Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain, it has somewhat become one of the top killers in the United States – landing at the sixth place.

On average, people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will live for four to eight years more. In some cases, those who are diagnosed with the disease live for more than twenty years. The life expectancy of a person who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease depends on several factors – for example, the environment where they live and their economic status.

Scientists around the world are working overtime to understand the core nature of the disease. Many research studies are being funded by corporations, and the research is being shared to the public. A worldwide initiative aims to stop the development of the disease and to find a cure for it.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease progresses over time, and it showcases various symptoms depending on the severity of one’s condition. People who are in the early stages of acquiring the disease would notice that they will have a difficult time remembering information that was newly learned. Most people would think that it is associated with aging, but the truth is that this can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The reason why the learning abilities are affected is that Alzheimer’s disease develops first in the area of the brain responsible for learning.

The next symptoms to watch out for are the changes in behavior and mood, as well as disorientation. The disease will start to affect other functions of the brain that will lead to confusion, suspicions, and hallucinations. During the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, affected individuals would also demonstrate difficulty in walking, speaking, or swallowing their food.

For someone who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they would find it difficult to understand that they have the disease. They would never recognize the problem within their bodies and will shrug it off as a sign of aging. However, for the friends and family members of people who are diagnosed with the disease, the symptoms are very obvious, and they need to take them to a doctor immediately.

Some doctors are trained to look after people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and their contact information can be found online, or through a local association for Alzheimer’s patients. One of the things that should be done when you found out that your friend or family member might have Alzheimer’s disease is to have them checked by the doctor. Early diagnosis has a big impact on how the disease would progress.

Is Alzheimer’s disease hereditary?

There is a low chance for Alzheimer’s disease to be inherited by another family member. In the United States, a small number of cases were documented.

Is there a correlation between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease?

There is an ongoing study by the British, German, and Taiwanese researchers about the nature of Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects the hearing capabilities of an individual. Hearing loss can be a serious issue for older people because it impairs them from using one of their senses. Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss is a common topic for scientists who wanted to learn more about the nature of the disease. According to their research, there is a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and the loss of hearing. When someone starts to lose their sense of hearing, their cognition starts to decline as well, and it will contribute to worsening the condition of a person affected with Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other hand, if hearing aids are used, the cognition of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will greatly improve, slowing down the negative effects of the disease. The topic surrounding the correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss is still getting the interest of many scientists, and they are working hard to unlock the answers to these questions.

For the meantime, most scientists would rely on the present information that has been discovered regarding the issues concerning hearing loss and dementia. Hearing loss and dementia might be a confusing topic for some, but some scientists are serious in finding the information that will help them assist those who are affected by it. Based from the studies conducted by the researchers from Britain, Germany, and Taiwan, people who fall under these categories are more likely to develop the disease: lack of education, midlife hypertension and obesity, depression, inactivity, diabetes, smoking, isolation, and hearing loss.

Designating September as the World Alzheimer’s Month

There is a lot of misinformation being spread around the internet and the real world about Alzheimer’s disease. Many organizations are pointing out that it does not help the people who are diagnosed with the disease. To combat misinformation about Alzheimer’s disease, a non-profit organization called the Alzheimer’s Disease International, or ADI for short, designated September to be the World Alzheimer’s Month.

Lifestyle Hearing Services

At Lifestyle Hearing Services, we provide comprehensive hearing health services and we are committed to raising awareness around untreated hearing loss. World Alzheimer’s Month is a great opportunity to take your cognitive health into your own hands and take an annual hearing test to keep tabs on your hearing abilities. Contact us today to learn more!