Anybody's loved one experience hearing loss along with vascular dementia?

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My mom is still in the initial stages of diagnosis, but the neurologist suspects vascular dementia, v.s alzheimers. She has definite memory loss, and periodic weakness/wobbliness that seems to go along with her bad memory days. It has come on rather suddenly since last spring, or at least gotten much worse quite quickly.

Last week she developed sudden hearing loss in one ear. We took her to her doctor's urgent care clinic (as directed by her docter) and they couldn't find anything obvious so she has been referred to an audiologist. My sister and I suspect there is probably a connection between the hearing loss, and what is going on that is causing the memory loss and wobbliness. And I have found an article that says this can happen.

Her primary care doctor is aware of this so we are pursuing all the medical things.

In the meantime, I was just wondering if anybody else has experienced this. Did the hearing ever improve?

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Thank-you everyone for your responses. I thought I would post an update in case anybody else runs into this. Yesterday my Mom saw the audiologist who measured her hearing and determined that the source of the problem was the inner ear. Today she saw the nurse practitioner at the clinic to discuss results and possible treatments.

Her left ear has “profound” hearing loss (her other ear is doing just fine). This has been diagnosed as SSHL (sudden sensorineural Hearing Loss). There can be various causes; a viral infection, a brief stop in blood flow to the ear (which is what we suspect), an autoimmune disease, or an inner ear disease like Meniere’s Disease. It is hard to determine the exact cause. Treatment and it’s effects are sometimes how it is further diagnosed.
Treatment:
1. Do nothing: (I think NP said) 40% will return to their usual level of hearing by doing nothing but waiting.
2. Take large doses of oral Prednisone, usually 1-3 weeks. The more common side effects that occur with prednisone include: confusion, restlessness, sleep disturbances, headache, nausea, water retention and higher blood pressure. There is no guarantee this will help.
3. Go to hospital and have direct injection of prednisone into ear. Some of the same side effects, but milder. Most costly!

Given the side effects my Mom (who still processes information just fine, but has problems with memory) has decided not to do the prednisone treatment. The possible side effects would be quite problematic for her, especially given everything else she is dealing with. She is quite willing to get a hearing aid if necessary in the future, and for now since her right ear is working well she will do fine, although she will have to adjust which ear she uses on the phone and where she sits when talking to people. Her kids, and the nurse practitioner, feel this is a fine decision.

I will say that if people have this problem and think they might want treatment, there is a time window (the audiologist said 2-4 weeks) to do the treatment, so follow-up is considered urgent. Don't just wait and see how it goes. If you or a LO has sudden hearing loss, get into the doctor as soon as possible.
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I've studied this issue in caring for my mom. My comment doesn't address sudden hearing loss, but aging can cause nerves to deteriorate -- including those that affect hearing. What's more, hearing loss reduces auditory stimulation, and that loss can speed up dementia. It's not clear whether it can actually cause dementia, but anyone with hearing loss might want to get hearing aids to keep their auditory nerve cells firing at a higher level to keep them stimulated as much as possible. If the cost is an issue, they might discuss what's available at "different price points," as the speaker nicely put it.
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I suspect my daughter's late FIL, who suffered from vascular dementia  did have a hearing problem because he spoke loudly.
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With the vascular dementia she may have had a small stroke that effected hearing.
And I can just imagine that hearing loss along with any dementia will make it harder to process what is heard/said. I have heard (no pun intended) that it can take someone with dementia 40 seconds to process what is being said. 40 seconds is a long time and if you are just hearing half of what is said it can make things more confusing resulting in having to take longer to process what MIGHT have been said. And by then the conversation has moved on to something else or you,(general you not personal you) the caregiver is frustrated that there has been no answer to the question posed.
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According to a 1988 study by E. Hultcrantz and reported on the NIH website, vascular disorders can disrupt blood flow to the inner ear. Fluctuating hearing or permanent hearing loss can occur. chdottir, If your mother's dementia was caused by a stroke on one side, it may very well be that her dementia caused her hearing loss.

My own mother had small vessel vascular dementia, which caused a global reduction in delivery of blood to my mother's brain. She had mild hearing loss before her dementia diagnosis; after her diagnosis, her hearing continued to worsen. I suspect that her hearing loss was helped along by Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (a rare disease caused by a severe reaction to antipsychotic medications, in my mother's case, Haldol Decanoate). It is the nature of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) that what happens on one side of the body will spread via the sympathetic nervous system to the opposite side of the body. Another bonus of NMS is that it can cause stroke. In my mother's case, it did. The strokes further diminished my mother's hearing. It was my mother's misfortune that her hearing never improved.

Your mother is lucky to have such a devoted and thorough advocate. Best of luck in your journey.
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I've had hearing loss in both ears since my early 60s. Although my memory is not as good as it once was, I have been tested for dementia and don't seem to have it yet (I am 80). I do carry one ApoE4 gene, probably inherited through my mother's side of the family. My great-grandma had dementia in her mid-80s, but my grandfather and my mother both died before they were 80 without any obvious signs. But--both of them had hearing loss in their 60s, as I did. It may be all circumstantial but at least I have good hearing aids!
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Thanks, cdnreader for that information. Since the article is by a hearing aid company, I looked a little further. AARP has a nice summary of the research in an article called Hearing Loss Linked to Memory Loss. (https://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-07-2013/hearing-loss-linked-to-dementia.html)

The main researcher has received initial funds to plan a study to see if improving the hearing through hearing aids also reduces the risk for memory loss. That will be a very significant study, don't you think? I hope the study design gets approved and the study itself gets funding.

At least two kinds of dementia involve loss of the sense of smell. So it is not at all surprising that the sense of hearing could also be related to at least some kinds of dementia. When there is damage in the brain, virtually all bodily functions can be impacted. Finding out how specific impairments are related to the dementia brain damage, and in particular whether addressing the impairments also improves the dementia is a very important research topic, in my opinion.
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I have a hearing loss in one ear. (I'm have an appt to get an aid in a couple of weeks.) The audiologist said loss on one side could indicate something other than normal age-related changes, and sent me to an ENT specialist. He referred me for a MRI on my head. The conclusion was nothing abnormal and I was ok'd for a hearing aid. So I do think further testing for your mother, chdottir, is appropriate.

I'm trying to think if my hearing loss was "sudden." How did you determine that for your mom? I had suspected some loss before I made an appointment. Was it gradual? Hmm. One day I suspected it. The day before that I did not. Had it just reached a point where it was obvious to me, but it had been happening gradually before that, or did it happen suddenly?

Whether the mechanism in her ear has physically changed or not, in addition to that hearing loss your mother probably has/will have some comprehension problems that will appear as hearing loss.

Keep pursuing all the medical things. That is the best you can do, I think. Also position yourself so she is hearing you on her "good" side. I was amazed how much it helped to switch the telephone to my good ear, once I learned that the loss was on one side!
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My aunt has vascular dementia and hearing loss. I don't know if they are related, but I do know that when she is suddenly weak, unstable, and dementia is worse, she misinterprets what she hears as well. (voices in the wall, a man in her room talking to her, etc.) Just as suddenly (after a lot of sleep) she improves and so does her hearing. Once it was a UTI, needing antibiotics, but not the other times. We do become detectives in observing changes.
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Certain antibiotics can also cause hearing loss. It is well known but sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks
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