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Loss of hearing or Dementia? - Carers UK Forum

Loss of hearing or Dementia?

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Dad has Vasc dementia about stage 5/6ish, cataracts and extremely stooped so poor vision. Main problem right now are ears. He has been getting deafer and deafer for weeks , but the last 2 weeks I have been putting olive oil in both ears twice daily per district nurse and last week she syringed them or whatever the modern equivalent is.
They are no better, if possible a shade worse. I have the audiologist booked for next week but it doesn't seem long since his hearing aids were adjusted to as good as possible. They've been cleaned and filters changed.
It is so frustrating having to shout everything 4 or 5 times, tv gets turned off every time my lips move. He never hears what you tell him and can't lip read because he can't see and sits with head down and eyes shut.
Is there an element of dementia in all of this? (Nearly 91 years ol) or is it just ears packing up?
I'm not sure Henrietta. However when I visit Hubby in the nursing home, sometimes he has the TV on 55! On his TV that is very very loud. Can hear it down the corridor. He seems oblivious to it. I turn it down, and it doesn't worry him. He does take an interest in the programmes and comments sometimes. I have 40% loss of hearing in my left ear, and before Hubby got I'll he would comment on how loud I had TV sometimes. So, possibly it is part of dementia in some.
Sorry so vague and not much help.
ps hubby had really good hearing not so long ago. He is 72 in May.
Hi Pet Thanks- yes I have known our telly to reach level 50 on occasions, 14 is comfortable for me and visitors find 14 on the loud side, 50 bounces off the walls.
If your husband has dropped in hearing level so rapidly it does make me think dementia is playing a part as hearing loss is usualy a gradual process unless it's caused by wax or damage.
Hi Henrietta
Glad you have an appointment booked for a professional answer.

I dont have dementia experience but common sense would suggest that if the brain can't interpret memory, words, routines etc then why should it work right interpreting sounds?

Does he have selective hearing? I'm thinking of a young relative of mine who aged 2 or 3 had us all convinced he had a hearing problem, until we realised he could hear the sweetie jar being taken out of the cupboard from three rooms away! He was later diagnosed Aspergers and his hearing is just an example of his preferring life inside his head to bothering with much outside it

Just idle thoughts
Xx MrsA
Hi Mrs A
There always has been an element of selective hearing, sometimes due to soft sounds being lost. He can't hear deafening TV but can be irritated by seemingly quiet barely noticable noises like electric humming of mattress.
This time he is deaf as a post. I think he has UTI again perhaps. He has been getting increasingly potty this week. Just had to help him on commode, will phone GP in morning I think. He spent 15 minutes last night fiddling with cuffs on shirt , jumper on, jumper off, shirt off vest off , sleevelss jumper on, off shirt on, shirt off, sleeveless vest on jumper on and no shirt, trousers undone and done up again- I couldn't keep up with him. :unsure: :roll:
Down stairs in night as he lost a slipper, then again as requested I turn off TV and now a third time as he got stuck half on half off a chair trying to reach commode.

In my mum's case she was a bit deaf but as the dementia worsened, so did the hearing. I am not sure whether that was due to old age or dementia. I always thought that the brain stopped understanding the words but have no medical knowledge for believing that.

However, yes, definitely a selective deafness on occasions. If my mum's youngest sister visited, my mum's deafness suddenly got worse :lol:
Dementia and loss of hearing can be caused by hypoxia. At the same time, victims may suffer vision loss, fatigue, loss of immunity to infection and reduced appetite.
In elderly people, the windpipe and lungs may shrink and cause hypoxia. During sleep, they may stop breathing a few times and awake quite depressed and tired. Carers need to Google; dementia/hypoxia.
With my wife I don't think it is physical deafness.

If I say something to her, she doesn't respond.
But if I attract her attention and repeat what I said
in exactly the same way at same volume she can hear me.

It's as though she needs to get her brain into gear before hearing ?
Hubby has advanced vascular dementia and he is almost blind. Specialist confirmed that the part of the brain which communicates with eyesight has almost completely died. His hearing has also been affected, but not so badly as eyesight.