Hear the World

How Alzheimer’s and Depression are Linked to Hearing Loss

Posted on February 16, 2017. Filed under: health, Hear the World, hearing education, hearing health, hearing loss, news | Tags: , , , , , |

Senior Woman Comforting Depressed Husband Sitting On Bench

There are at least 38 million people who suffer from hearing loss throughout America. Many senior citizens expect to lose their hearing over time but few know that it could increase the chances for depression and even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, hearing loss can influence every aspect of an individual’s life ranging from decreased social interaction to the unwanted symptoms of depression over a period of time.

However, dedicated scientists at Johns Hopkins University noticed patterns and similar traits from these conditions and wanted to take a closer look to examine how Alzheimer’s, depression and hearing loss are associated.

These scientists have determined that symptoms of these three conditions overlap and negatively influence one another. Essentially, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia very closely mimic the symptoms of hearing loss, which can further the symptoms of depression felt by sufferers. When an individual suffers from hearing loss, they are more susceptible to social isolation, a decline in thinking skills and even cognitive impairment.

The Link Between Hearing Loss and Dementia

It has been proven that processing auditory information, like speech, uses a large portion of the brain as sound sends signals to the primary auditory cortex of the brain. When an individual suffers from hearing loss, the brain activity gradually lessens, which causes a reduction of gray matter over time. As such, the brain begins to shrink when certain parts are not used much like how muscles react if they are not used on a regular basis.

The researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that the more severe the hearing loss is in an individual, the more likely they were to develop dementia. The amount of hearing loss an individual suffers from can actually cause an increase in dementia because the brain is not stimulated enough. When you combine the amount of time an individual suffers from each of these symptoms, this can cause a real change in an individual’s life.

How Hearing Loss and Dementia Influence Depression

Hearing loss can cause depression due to isolation, withdrawal from social activities and negatively impact the way individuals process auditory information. The combination of hearing loss and dementia increases the amount of mental confusion experienced from day to day. In fact, the symptoms of hearing loss and dementia are often overlooked, which leads to deeper episodes of stress and depression.

Researchers were also able to observe and identify how closely hearing loss is related to depression. As time goes on, individuals may suffer from longer periods of depression and loss of communication, which negatively effects normal brain stimulation. What is most disturbing about how these conditions are associated is that mild cognitive problems and hearing loss is becoming increasingly accepted over time.

Without further observation, symptoms of all conditions may grow worse over time. The studies on these three conditions shows that without adequate brain stimulation, an individual is more prone to feel hopeless and isolated. Not only is hearing one of our most valued senses but without being able to hear and communicate effectively, the brain becomes weaker and unable to function optimally.

If you seem to be losing your hearing or have a loved one suffering from hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact New Generation Hearing. Dr. Joseph K. Durán and Yvette Durán Someillán empathize with their patients and understand how hearing loss, when untreated, can lead to other health related problems. Give them a call today at (305) 551-7222.

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A Deaf DJ: You Can Feel the Music if You Can’t Hear it.

Posted on September 9, 2013. Filed under: Hear the World, hearing education | Tags: , |

Meet Robbie Wilde.  Despite the fact that he lost his hearing due to a range of ear infections as a young child, he became a talented DJ booking shows and producing mixes.  His audiences would never be able detect his disability, unless of course they looked at the tattoo on his right ear that reads: “Out of Order…”

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This talented DJ grew up with ongoing hearing loss, yet demanded that he remain in regular school by teaching himself how to read lips.   Later, a friend introduced Wilde to the turntable sets that DJ’s today use.  Wilde then learned how to see music and pull apart different notes that label vocals between bass and kicks.  Thanks to modern technology, Wilde can understand what type of beat is being played, and what notes are coming out of the speakers.  Thanks to practice and a lot of dedication, Wilde has performed at Sundance Music Festival and a few other notable events.  His “persistent personality” is what drove him to pursue his passions despite his disability, claims his mother.  It’s this type of determination and passion that proves anyone can achieve what they want, despite hearing loss or any other type of challenge.

When asked about his abilities and disability, Wilde has one answer: “I didn’t hear you.”

 Read more here.


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Hearing Loss Linked to Brain Atrophy

Posted on September 7, 2011. Filed under: Hear the World, hearing education, hearing educatoin, hearing health | Tags: , , , , |

A recent study done by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has found a connection between hearing loss and brain atrophy. According to the study “declines in hearing ability may accelerate gray matter atrophy in auditory areas of the brain and increase the listening effort necessary for older adults to successfully comprehend speech.”

If you suffer from loss of hearing, you may prevent this from occurring by wearing a quality hearing aid. As Jonathan Peelle, PhD, research associate in the Department of Neurology states “As hearing ability declines with age, interventions such as hearing aids should be considered not only to improve hearing but to preserve the brain.” He goes on to explain, “People hear differently, and those with even moderate hearing loss may have to work harder to understand complex sentences.”

For more information about the different types of hearing aids available to help treat your hearing damage, contact your local Miami hearing center. An audiologist will do the necessary hearing tests to choose the right hearing aid for you.

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Saliva Test Spots Virus That Can Cause Hearing Loss In Newborns

Posted on June 10, 2011. Filed under: 1, Hear the World, hearing education, hearing educatoin, hearing health | Tags: , , , , |


In previous articles we have discussed the importance of early detection of hearing loss in infants. A new study done by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has gone over how a saliva test might be able to detect a virus which leads to hearing loss in newborns.

The virus called cytomegalovirus, once found can be treated to help prevent hearing health conditions such as deafness in children.  This type of infection is passed from mother to child, and affects thousands of newborns each year.

The study examined mouth swabs from almost 35,000 infants from seven different U.S. hospitals. The virus was found in 97 percent to 100 percent of cases. Study co-author Dr. Suresh Boppana explains, “We now know that we have a test with saliva that works”, he goes on to say, “The challenge is, unlike the dried blood spot [heel stick], which is already used for newborn screening in hospitals across the country, we don’t have a system in place for the collection of saliva. But we’ve shown that if you wanted to test a lot of babies for congenital CMV infection, it can be done.”

This new finding will help in early diagnosis of a virus that might lead to loss of hearing. By doing so, children will have a better chance to develop their speech and language abilities normally and prevent hearing damage. If you believe your child might suffer from any kind of hearing condition, contact your local Audiologist.


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Getting Used To a Hearing Aid

Posted on June 8, 2011. Filed under: 1, Hear the World, hearing education, hearing educatoin, hearing health | Tags: , , , , |

A person suffering from hearing loss may require the help of a hearing aid to better cope with the condition.

As the Phonak website explains, it is important to be patient and realize that getting used to a hearing aid takes time. You must gain the necessary experience to be able to take advantage of the unit. The adjustment process begins slowly, using the hearing aid for a couple of hours and gradually increasing the duration as you begin to familiarize yourself with the unit.

There are four exercises provided by Phonak, which will help in the adjustment process. The first one deals with listening to your own voice, and the sounds around you. Making sure to distinguish them between the familiar sounds and the sounds that seem strange. The second exercise deals with following a conversation. Begin by talking with an acquaintance on the phone, then talking with a person in a quiet environment, and finally watching TV in quiet surroundings.

The third and fourth exercises deal with tolerating loud noises and focusing your hearing. In the third exercise try to have a conversation in a loud environment; the fourth exercise deals with staying focused and becoming an alert listener. In the end, it’s all about practice and getting used to a hearing aid.

In conclusion, it is important to visit an audiologist, such as Dr. Joseph Duran, who will help better diagnose the level of loss of hearing and choose the right equipment that will greatly improve your quality of life.

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