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The patient should be taken to an audiologist who is part of an ENT team. These specialists are highly trained medical professionals who treat people of all ages as well as people with varying degrees of wellness and illness.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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This is something for an ear nose and throat doctor. Infants can be tested. The test is just conducted in a different way. Make sure you mention the dementia to the doctor. Addressing another related issue. The standard way of testing hearing may not work on a person with dementia. You have to be motivated to raise your hand when you hear the test sound. You also have to concentrate during the test or you won't response to sounds you can barely hear. People with dementia have motivation and concentration problems.
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Reply to Toadhall
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Take them to an eye, ears and throat specialist. In fact, my mother who has dementia just went deaf within a week and was concerned if this was just fluid in the ears or behavior disorder from the dementia. At first, doc didn't want to risk putting tubes in her ears at her age and with her dementia but my mothers nurse (a true blessing) insisted they try. They successfully put tubes in each ear and my mother is a different person. She can hear again and dizzy spells that she was being tested for are gone.
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Reply to Ilovesean2
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There is a very strong correlation between demmitia and hearing loss. If you don’t hear something how are you supposed to remember what is said.
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Reply to momtwins
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JoAnn29 Nov 6, 2018
True, husban being hard og hearing since childhood thinks he is going to suffer from dementia. But Dementia can also cause hearing and sight loss when it hits the part of the brain that controls them.
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with my mom who sings on an off, I sang her songs and she would repeat back words and sing the songs and that's how the audiologist could measure her hearing. She would not follow any other commands. so, i would try music.
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Reply to MariaDinis
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Your PCP probably has a practice nurse or nurse practitioner who does ear wax removal sessions - I should give them a ring and ask.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Some of you mentioned that your loved one’s hearing improved after was was removed. How did you accomplish that? By your internist? What did they do to remove it? My husband has same issues.
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Reply to Worriedspouse
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JoAnn29 Nov 6, 2018
With my Mom and husband they were asked to use drops that soften the wax then come back to the ear Dr. to remove the wax. The doctor goes in with long tweezer type thing to pull out the wax. Another way to get rid of wax is to buy the kit. You use drops then a syringe that pushes warm water into the ear and loosens up the wax. As we age we seem to get more wax. Do not use a Qtip to go into the ear to clean it. Dr. told me this actually pushes the wax further in.
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Thank you for your input!
It confirmed what I was thinking. We took her to Ear Dr. He cleaned her ears and said the hearing loss from the amount of wax that was in there was significant .
The funny part in that visit was when he asked her to open her mouth she looked at him with a straight face and pulled him on her lap!!! He was shocked but said it made is day!!! Then the hearing test was a disaster. Her hearing was better and speech improved somewhat.
Yes I figured out about the hearing aid issues. Mom gets aggressive if I need to do anything like put skin cream on her or fix her hair. Hearing aids would be a major battle! Then there is the hiding issue! We have to look for her teeth a lot of times! So I had decided it was more hassle than we needed.
Im paying attention and a when I talk to her she looks at me and says I don't know what your saying. But she will hear my husband in the basement and ask what the noise is. So another brain glitch I'm sure.
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Reply to Jammma4
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momtwins Nov 6, 2018
As someone with hearing loss in my 40s I can tell you that not understanding what you were saying but hearing sounds is a normal part of hearing loss. I could hear sounds but had very little speech understanding. It is not unusual in any one with hearing loss.
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Its very hard to test a Dementia patient. They have to be able to process what it being said to them and take direction. My husband has been hard of hearing since 3 or 4. I will give you an overview of what goes on.

He first sees the hearing Dr. who checks his ears. Last time he had a lot of wax build up so that was taken care of. Sometimes, that can cause hearing problems. Then its going to an audiologist who puts DH in a small room. He then puts ear phones on his head. The audiologist starts out with can you hear...Dog, cat etc. Then sounds, if u hear this put ur finger up. Then its finding the right hearing aide and doing a cast for the mold. Once the hearing aide is received and mold ready you go back for a fitting. Now aids are digital so you sit hooked up to a computer so they can balance the aids. This is done by being able to tell the audiologist what u hear is loud enough. Once fitted they will ask u to come back to tweak them. The person has to be able to tell the audiologist what is wrong. Now you go thru all of this and the person won't wear the hearing aids for whatever reason. Do you think a Dementia patient will sit thru this? My Mom only had a check up and couldn't answer the doctors questions.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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My Papa got hearing aids last year, at the age of 90. He was all gun ho for them initially, but has been unable to use them much. He has just mild dementia and he is unable to place them properly, or he forgets to pop them open so the battery doesn’t drain overnight. He then gets frustrated and won’t wear them.

Papa lives alone (but shouldn’t), so now, we just put them in for him if he leaves the house for a doctor’s appointment. They’re really expensive when rarely used.
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Reply to BeckyT
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Who's "they"?

You'd need an audiologist or at least a technician with considerable experience; and you'd need to pick a good day; and you'd need to be prepared to give up if it's not working and try again another time. Having said that, most hearing loss professionals are going to be used to working with older people, naturally; and many will be familiar with the extra needs of dementia patients.

Whether it's worth doing depends on how much ability the patient still has and how severely you suspect the hearing loss is impacting on him or her. Bear in mind that hearing aids require co-operation and persistence from the patient to be really useful - you can't just pop them in and expect everything to work.

If the hearing test is your own idea to help your loved one, look at the websites of the companies you might want to use and see what they say about testing.

And don't get conned. There aren't any miracles out there.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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It may be very difficult or impossible if the person cannot process verbal questions or has short attention to do the exalm. My question to you is when you pay out thousands of dollars for hearind aids, who will be responsable to have the person keep them on and care for storing them at night?
My mom claims that she does not have a hearing problem. She conveniently lost them on the first day that I put them on in her AL
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Reply to MACinCT
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