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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How Musicians Can Avoid Hearing Loss

Posted on March 18, 2016. Filed under: hearing loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hearing loss is common amongst musicians and Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Phil Collins are just a few musicians who have suffered with hearing loss over the years. The reason? The intensity of music is more than that of speech and this, consequently warrants different strategies and approaches to protect all musicians from hearing loss.  Some things to be considered are based on who is listening, the listening situation, their needs and hearing status.

It is critical for musicians that do not have any hearing problem cover their ears properly. To achieve this, some custom-made and commercially available hearing protection earplugs can be used. If a musician practices for at least two hours daily, it is necessary for them to maximize physical comfort and commit to strong protection of the ear’s core components. Musicians are often exposed to noise that is deemed “too loud” while they are performing and are not aware of it. Humans can discern spectra change very easily but find it difficult to judge loudness. For a rock musician, they might be exposed to about 110 to 115 dBA twice a week. A musician with a hearing problem using hearing aids needs to remove them during practice and performance or risks further damage.

When listening to a loud sound source, turn down the volume as much as possible. Yes, this can be a drag, but protection is the key to future strong hearing for musicians. The lower the input of the hearing aid the better the hearing aid circuit is allowed to do what it was designed to do.

One great option to preserve the quality of hearing is placing a compressor before the analogue allows for a digital converter. By placing it at the front end of the circuit, the sound will be compressed and avoid saturation of the analogue to digital converter. It then can result in a digital expansion of the digital circuit. There are some technologies in the marketplace available currently that do exactly that.

Musicians work hard to craft their work and image. That shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of future hearing issues. Protecting the core components of the ear will ensure that all musicians can avoid hearing loss in years to come.

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Hearing Aids and How to Extend Their Battery Life

Posted on February 20, 2016. Filed under: hearing education | Tags: , , , , , , , |

For anyone with a hearing aid, battery life can be a source of contention. Where you purchase your hearing aid from and the maintenance of your hearing aid can increase the lifespan of your device. Obviously, strong hearing aids tend to last longer; we have found that the real way to prolong the lifespan of a hearing aid is to monitor the battery.

Turning on the device for the first time is a simple process; you need to remove a small sticker that allows the oxygen to mix with the zinc oxide to turn the battery on. Wait five minutes after removing the seal before using the hearing aid, you’ll get a much better quality of lifespan from your battery. This one easy step can increase the lifespan of your hearing aid battery – as well as its effectiveness – for many months to come.

There are some basic tips that we can recommend you look into for protecting the strength and integrity of your hearing aid. We would recommend that you look into any of the following solutions:

  • Keep the hearing aid in a cool, dry place. Moisture in the air can cause the hearing aid battery to start dying off quicker,  so make sure you always keep your battery clean and dry.
  • Take the device out during certain activities. When you go swimming moisture might get in, causing problems with the hearing quality that you receive.
  • Remember to turn your hearing aid when you aren’t using it.  This might seem like common sense but plenty of people don’t do this lead to the need for a new battery faster than normal.

Save a small fortune on replacements with solid maintenance by following those simple steps. It’s worth the extra time; both medically and financially, in the long run.

 

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Hearing Loop Technology

Posted on February 5, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

In the modern world of technology and change, it’s become increasingly easy to get caught up and a little bit uncertain about what forms of hardware are now available to us. For example, who would have thought that a hearing loop would be so common today? In the past, it was a pipe dream!

Hearing loop technology is essentially a wire which encircles the entire room and is connected to a different sound system. Connected to the sound system, this then provides an electromagnetic format across the air which is then picked up and backed up by a telecoil. By doing this, hearing adds and cochlear implants can now hear much further than they would have in the past.

To use a hearing loop, you simply switch on your hearing aid or implant and activate the coil. This is more or less all that you need to do if you wish to turn on the hardware and improve the strength of your hearing sounds. Thanks to the extra power that is provided by both devices working in tandem, though, you can have a non-intrusive way to improve sound quality and the ease of which someone with a hearing aid can get assistance.

A good telecoil system will work without being obtrusive or in the way at all, and will provide you with the extra quality and depth that you need without the requirement for getting additional equipment. This can really make the benefits of a hearing aid far clearer for everyone, as it can avoid people missing out on what you said in the first place!

These are hugely useful and make sure you can get the help that you need as soon as you possibly can; they really are so easy to install, making a hearing loop far more effective than it ever has been in the past.

A telecoil system is a strong hearing aid function that gives you a wireless antenna, linked up to the sound system and then delivering a customized sound to the listener in question. This small copper coil is then used in addition to the rest of the hearing aide, greatly improving the strength of its signal.

For anyone who has to utilize one to hear at their best, a telecoil can be used to improve the magnetic signals from a telephone handset, for example. This means that those who have hearing aids can now easily hear over the phone, bridging the gap between normal hearing and a hearing aide. If you want to find the easiest way to manage with a hearing aide, using one of these around the home can be the perfect choice as well as when making calls.

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Hearing Aid Myths You Want To Block Out

Posted on January 22, 2016. Filed under: hearing educatoin, hearing health, hearing loss | Tags: , , , , |

Over the years, the opinion – professional and personal – of hearing aids has changed quite dramatically. One week they sound like a must-have for anyone with hearing issues, the next you can find some horrible story that relates to a fault or a problem. However, this constant wariness of a new technology means that many people simply miss out on the help that they could be receiving thanks to the creation of what turns out to be nothing more than a myth.

With the help of hearing aid myth busting below, you can work out if going for a hearing aid is something that you should be doing.

Buying Online is Cheaper and Easier!

This particular myth has existed for some time now, and points to an incorrect belief that simply buying a hearing aid on your own from the web is easier and cheaper than going to a medical professional and seeking aid. This is not true, as you’ll miss out on the vital evaluations and assistance in making sure you can get the hearing aid to work – you also cannot get the repairs which may be needed later on down the line.

Two Aids are not needed!

Another silly myth, two hearing aids are most definitely needed for the right kind of person. If your ears are both damaged and have limited hearing, then you are obviously going to struggle to hear what you are doing! Two aids are needed if you have damage in both ears. If you have damage in just one ear, then only one is needed.

Hearing Aids Fix your Hearing

This damaging myth makes people believe that six months or a few years of wearing an aid will make your hearing come back to life – as good as new! Sadly, the human body does not work with this. There is no cure for hearing loss; this merely acts as an amplification of what you need, which will improve your overall hearing and your listening in general.

Invisible Aids are Best

The last of our myths comes from the fact that many people believe that the see-through or “invisible” aids are the best. There are various forms and each kind comes personally to you – this myth comes from personal choice, not any particular facts. The hearing aid a friend or colleague uses may be totally unsuited to your needs.

As you can see, the world of hearing aids is one which needs you to do your own due diligence and learning – if you are ever confused about your ears or your aids, go and see a professional who can set you right.

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