I am not due back at the Audiology Department yet so I thought I would take a look at Hyperacusis and how it can affect a person living with Dementia.
Dementia is generally but incorrectly associated with age and because of this, it is generally assumed, that people with Dementia may have trouble communicating due to hearing loss.
However, communication problems may also be due to intolerance of noise, that is to say that in a noisy environment, people living with Dementia may not be able to process all the sounds around them including background noise.
This may cause symptoms including : confusion, disorientation, inability to follow conversations or instructions or process information.
It’s a bit like closing one lane on a motorway, 3 lanes of information have to try to find a way through 2 lanes, switching from lane to lane.
The brain cannot process information fast enough and the signals cannot get from neuron to neuron efficiently as they are diverted around dead cells causing a backlog of information that may not be processed in the correct order.
How dementia changes the way you hear the world listen to the audio report about half way down.
A discussion on the Alzheimer’s Society Talking Point Message Board from 2009 “Dementia and Hearing Problems”
Agnes Houston’s Booklet Think Dementia, Think Sensory