The terms Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably. This is because Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a brain disease that’s characterized by memory loss and decreases in function. As the disease damages cells in the brain, the person with dementia will start to notice decreases in cognitive abilities.
Common symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease include problems with memory, difficulty doing simple tasks, and even experiencing changes in personality. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are over 50 million people worldwide who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The earliest signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be hard to spot. After all, we’ve all had times when we forget where we left our car keys, and most people think they’re just having a senior moment. If some forgetfulness is the only thing you’ve noticed, you probably don’t have dementia. However, there are a number of other small things you might start experiencing. The signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:
– Frequent memory loss. This could be something small, like forgetting what you need to buy at the grocery store. It could also be bigger gaps in recent memory, like forgetting what you did yesterday, or missing a family member’s birthday.
– Struggling to complete tasks. You’ve been cooking breakfast every day for years, but when you have dementia, this simple task seems complicated. You may get stuck half way through the task, and be unable to finish what you started.
– Communication difficulties. You may have a hard time following what people are saying. You might also struggle to find the words you want to say and find yourself at a loss for words.
– Feeling stressed during social gatherings. As you have a harder time communicating and remembering, you may start to feel stressed or uncomfortable during social events. You may decide to stay home, or feel anxious when meeting friends.
– Feeling easily confused. Dementia can lead to disorientation. You may realize you don’t know the date or time. You may even feel confused about where you are, and not remember how you got to the grocery store.
– Personality or mood changes. Another sign of Alzheimer’s disease is changes to your mood or your personality. You may feel like a different person or respond in ways your family is not expecting.
These are some of the most common signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you have more than one of these symptoms, visit your doctor to learn more about dementia, and what you can do to manage your symptoms.
Did you know that hearing loss is linked to Alzheimer’s disease? Frank Lin and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University have been studying dementia and looking for ways to reduce your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They found a strong connection between hearing loss and dementia! In fact, older adults with hearing loss are two times more likely to develop dementia than adults who don’t have hearing loss.
One of the best things you can do for your overall health and well being is to take a hearing test. If you have hearing loss, treating your hearing loss will help you hear everything you’ve been straining to hear. You’ll enjoy conversations with loved ones and get back to doing the things you love. You’ll also reduce your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and keep your brain healthy.
This September, celebrate World Alzheimer’s Month with a hearing test! Together we’ll find out if you have mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss. We’ll also determine the kind of hearing loss you have, and suggest the best treatment options. Visit us today to learn more about the connection between your ears and your brain.