Hearing Loss and Dementia: The Silent Connection
Scientists are finding more and more evidence that trouble with hearing makes it more likely to have signs of dementia, a condition marked by memory loss and trouble with thinking, problem-solving, and other mental tasks.
That doesn’t mean that people with hearing loss (about two-thirds of adults over 70) are guaranteed to have dementia -- simply that the odds are higher.
What’s the Link?
Scientists have found that a person’s chances for mental decline seem to go up the worse their hearing problems are. In one study, mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss made the odds of dementia 2, 3, and 5 times higher over the following 10-plus years. Studies of older adults who had lost some hearing found that they had mental decline 30%-40% faster, on average. Looked at another way, they had the same mental decline in 7.7 years, on average, as someone with normal hearing showed in 10.9 years.
- People with hearing loss tend to feel isolated, since it’s hard to join in conversations or be social with others when you can’t hear. Some research has shown a link between feeling lonely or isolated and dementia. So hearing loss may make mental decline happen faster than it would otherwise.
- Your brain has to work harder to process sound if you don’t hear well. That may take away resources that it could use for other important activities.
- If your ears can no longer pick up on as many sounds, your hearing nerves will send fewer signals to your brain. As a result, the brain declines.
Although there is a link between Dementia and Hearing loss, Not everyone will be effected the same way, some may not be effected at all. There will continue to be ongoing studies and information throughout the years.
When the vibrations of sound waves are not being transferred from the outer to the inner ear.
This can be caused by many different things including;
excessive ear wax build up
damaged ossicles (the tiny bones in the middle ear),
a perforated ear drums,
or even a defective ear drum.
Meaning there is a dysfunction in the inner ear system, cochlea, or the auditory nerve.
Long term exposure to loud noise especially in the high- frequency range are a common reason for sensorineural loss.
This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
It shows damage in both the outer and inner ear systems.
This can be caused by a variety of different things including exposure to loud sound, some medications, and even regular ageing.
Hearing is not an all or nothing phenomenon.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are amplifiers that bring sound directly to the ear. They separate sound, mainly speech, that a person may want to hear more clearly over background noise. Research indicates that people who are hard of hearing may require and extra volume of 15 to 25 dB. ALDs are used by people with all degrees of loss from mild to profound. These users include hearing aid users and cochlear implant users as well.
You could describe ALDs as binoculars for the ears, as they stretch the ability of hearing aids or implants and increase their effectiveness.
There are three main types of ALDs, these include the FM systems that offer mobility and flexibility through a transmitter you wear on your body, infrared systems that are used primarily for television listening and entertainment, and the inductive loop systems that cans be used by non-hearing aid users through headphones, or hearing aid users through a t-coil system.
If you would like to learn more about Assistive Listening Technology please feel free to contact our offices and inquire about what we have available for you.
When reviewing your options for hearing aids in Brockville, you might find that the price is a little higher than you expected. While our team at Thousand Islands Hearing works to reduce the total cost to you, we feel it’s important you understand the background behind hearing aid pricing. In this new post, we explain the cost factors for hearing aids.
Total Research Costs
The research that goes into each hearing aid product is significant. Research companies test the performance of their products in a range of environments and under various conditions to ensure the ideal performance for the user. The research process often involves working with computer scientists to develop the amplification products within the latest hearing aids. Audiologists must also work to produce a system that delivers sound cleanly and ensures the optimal experience for the user.
Working With an Audiologist
Another key element that goes into the final cost of hearing aids is the work required alongside your Brockville audiologist. An audiologist can help end users to use the equipment and to hone the hearing aid for use with their hearing capacity. Another element in the client’s work with an audiologist is the equipment used. This equipment is critical to measuring hearing levels and in calibrating hearing aids for client use, but it can be expensive for the company to purchase.
Building The Ideal Business Environment
A company involved in the testing and sale of hearing aids must create a facility designed uniquely for their clients and their unique hearing requirements. Our team at Thousand Islands Hearing has spent significant resources in optimizing our facilities and integrating cutting-edge audiological equipment to ensure effective hearing aid performance. These investments require significant time and resources and comprise a portion of the total cost for the consumer.
At Thousand Islands Hearing, we’re committed to reducing your total costs when buying hearing aids through our Brockville team. We’ll work with you to reduce your expenditure at each stage of the process while ensuring you have the necessary expert analysis and data to make the right choice for the years ahead.
To discover more about hearing aids and their production, contact us today.
Three Reasons People Don't Wear Their Hearing Aids
you know that only around 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them regularly? It's amazing, but true (People don't war their hearing aids). We work with patients all the time who have hearing aids but leave them out most of the time, or only wear them on special occasions.
At Thousand Islands Hearing, our goal is to bring better hearing solutions to everyone who passes through our doors. But that's hard for us to accomplish if people don't use their hearing aids! So today, we wanted to talk a bit about the reasons we hear for why hearing aids go unused, and how to solve those problems so you can enjoy better hearing all the time.
Three Challenges That Deter People from Using Their Hearing Aids
1. "It's a poor fit."
Probably the most common complaint we hear is that people's hearing aids aren't a good fit. Either they are uncomfortable to wear for long periods, or they have a tendency to slip off of the ears. This is entirely fixable! Just bring your hearing aids to us, or any other hearing technology specialist, and you can have them re-fit to better suit you.
2. "I can't hear much better with them."
There are a few reasons why hearing aids might stop working correctly. At the most basic, they may simply need cleaning. Is there anything -like earwax- clogging up the input holes? It could also be electrical or mechanical problems with the hearing aids themselves. Or, it's also possible that your hearing has simply changed.
Hearing loss can change over time, and people sometimes periodically need new hearing aids.
Either way, the solution is to talk to your hearing aid specialist to have your current hearing aids examined for functionality.
3. "They sound weird."
At present, no hearing aid is going to 100% perfectly recreate natural human hearing. (Although they're consistently getting better.) However, part of this is an adjustment process. The more you use your hearing aids, the less weird they will sound. Your brain will adjust to them, and after a while, they'll start seeming more normal.
However, you need to wear them constantly for this to happen. They will always sound weird if they're only used occasionally.
Need Help with Your Hearing Aids? Call Us!
Thousand Islands Hearing is a local leader in hearing aid solutions. For help, just make an appointment.
Things to Expect During Your First Visit to A Hearing Clinic
If it's your first time visiting a hearing clinic, it's understandable if you're a little nervous. However, there's nothing to be worried about! When you visit a hearing clinic like Thousand Islands Hearing, you'll be interacting with professionals who are dedicated to one thing: helping you hear better.
Your first visit will be an easy experience but should still be quite productive. Here's what to expect.
The Four Main Steps When You First Visit A Hearing Clinic
1 - The Interview
Before anything physical happens, you'll have an interview with a specialist. This is usually done in-person, although it might occasionally happen over the phone to save time. You'll be asked about your medical history, and about the problems you're currently having with your hearing.
If you want this to go a little more smoothly, try to think beforehand about situations where you have issues with your hearing. It can also help to bring a second party, like your spouse or a close friend, who may be able to add important information.
2 - The Physical Examination
Next, we look at your ears. We'll talk you through the various parts of your ears and how they work, while examining your ears for any physical problems that might contribute to hearing problems. This is all totally non-invasive and pain-free.
3 - The Diagnostic Tests
The next step is to evaluate how well you can hear. You'll be given a series of simple tests, usually in a sound booth, that test the range of your hearing as well as your ability to hear specific frequencies. This is just the ear equivalent to eye tests when you're getting glasses. For best results, be as honest and accurate as possible.
The results of these tests will create a map of your hearing, telling your hearing specialists what to focus on. It also becomes a roadmap to regaining your hearing!
4 - Discussing Solutions
Finally, you and your doctor will sit down and discuss potential solutions to your hearing issues. You can have a friend or partner here as well, if you like. Your treatment plan will always be entirely personalized, developed to help your specific issues as best as possible.
And that's it. One consultation can lead to radically improved hearing.
Thousand Islands Hearing
If you're suffering from hearing issues, don't let them get worse. Schedule an appointment with the Thousand Islands Hearing clinic today!
Can Tinnitus be cured?
If you consistently hear ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in your ears, you may suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is a hearing condition which is experienced by roughly 15% of the general public, according to the American Tinnitus Association, marked by persistent and often distracting sounds.
Tinnitus can take many forms, from being a mild inconvenience to a serious disruption that can make it difficult to function in day-to-day life. In some cases, tinnitus may be accompanied by hearing loss, adding to the challenges faced by those with tinnitus.
Can tinnitus be cured? Unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure. However, there is still hope for people with tinnitus, and multiple options for tinnitus treatment
What Causes Tinnitus?
Fundamentally, tinnitus is caused by damage to the cochlea, a sensitive organ in the inner ear. The cochlea is directly responsible for taking in exterior sounds and converting them into electrical impulses for the brain.
The most common cause of tinnitus is especially loud noises. People who work with or around heavy machinery tend to be most at risk, but tinnitus can potentially develop from a single extra-loud event - even a rock concert! Other things which can damage the cochlea include ear infections, a variety of medications, and TMJ disorders. On top of that, psychological factors such as stress and fatigue can aggravate tinnitus. It is a very complicated condition.
Basically, the reason that the answer to "can tinnitus be cured?" is "not yet" is that we do not currently have the science to repair damaged cochlea’s, and researchers do not entirely understand the factors which cause tinnitus to persist.
What Tinnitus Treatment Options are Available?
There are tinnitus treatment options, depending on your situation. Because psychology plays a role in tinnitus, counseling can often be effective. Additionally, if there is actual hearing loss accompanying the tinnitus, hearing aids can be of significant help.
One of the most promising new tinnitus treatments is sound therapy. On-ear devices can deliver sounds specifically "tuned" to counteract the sounds produced by tinnitus. Some believe that sound therapy can even be used to re-train the brain, so it ceases to hear tinnitus sounds. These devices can also be paired with hearing aids for two-in-one treatment.
Thousand Islands Hearing Is Passionate About Tinnitus Treatments
If you suffer from tinnitus, we want to help! Please schedule an appointment to evaluate your case.
An increasing amount of research on hearing loss draws links between it and an elevated risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. This is critical when it comes to dealing with people who refuse a hearing aid despite hearing loss because they fail to recognize that they are doing more than just causing damage to their ears.
The risk of dementia
Less than a decade ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore initiated a study on older adults, some of whom had some hearing loss, and followed them for a period of 15 years. Results at the end of that study showed a strong association between signs of dementia and loss of hearing, with those suffering from the severest hearing loss at the greatest risk of getting dementia.
Similar research published in recent years confirms those findings, as experts believe hearing loss contributes to mental decline on account of the cognitive load on the brain. As one struggles to hear, one is compelled to work harder to understand sounds, taking away resources for other critical brain functions. Some neurologists also believe that hearing impairment may trigger structural changes in the brain itself.
How hearing loss treatment helps
Scientists are still examining whether hearing loss treatment can help prevent dementia or, at the very least, slow its advance. There are definitive studies underway, and some researchers are examining other strategies such as music lessons that may reinforce the brain's ability to process sound. These studies are of enormous importance given that approximately one-quarter of people over 50 have some degree of hearing loss and need hearing loss treatment.
A lot of hearing loss is gradual, which is why people don't get a hearing test as often as they should. These tests are the best way to find out more about what hearing loss treatment can work though, and should be administered by qualified professionals.
Here is something a lot of people aren’t aware of: Hearing loss can be a surprisingly gradual process, because your hearing can deteriorate very slowly, almost without you noticing. Self-diagnosis is never a good idea, not only because a professional is more qualified to conduct a hearing test but because our brains tend to adjust to hearing loss on their own, making it difficult to recognize a problem until it reaches an advanced stage. There are different types of hearing aids in Brockville that can help, but the first thing to do is look for signs of hearing loss.
What to look out for
One of the first signs of hearing loss is asking family and friends to repeat things. Turning up the television or music player to a volume that others may find disturbing is also a common sign, as is a loss of enjoyment at social activities that involve spending time with groups. When any of these things happen, it is important to get a hearing test as soon as possible. They are easy to do and take approximately half an hour, after which you can find out more about hearing aids in Brockville.
Hearing aids available
Some people avoid hearing aids because they assume these are only for older people. In fact, almost 65% of people with hearing loss are younger than 65. Hearing aids can slow cognitive decline tied to hearing loss, while the costs can differ dramatically depending on whether you speak to a clinic or shop for them online yourself, so it is important to get advice from a reliable source. Some people refuse hearing aids because of aesthetic reasons, even though advances in technology now make tiny, discrete hearing aids possible.
Contact Thousand Islands Hearing
For information on hearing loss and hearing aids in Brockville, contact our independent hearing clinic dedicated to helping Ontarians overcoming all kinds of hearing-related challenges. For a hearing test, please get in touch with us for an appointment as soon as possible.
When it comes to hearing loss treatment in Brockville, a lot more needs to be done to educate people about the link between the thyroid and hearing health. A lot of us are aware of how our thyroid regulates our body’s metabolism, and how some forms of thyroid disease can affect our weight. What isn't as well known is how thyroid disease can affect other parts of our body, from the heart to our hearing.
This post takes a closer look at how thyroid disorders and hearing loss are connected. More importantly, it shows how keeping your thyroid healthy can also protect your hearing.
Thyroid and hearing loss
Located at the front of your neck, below the larynx, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system and secretes hormones regulating the way our bodies use energy. It uses iodine from food to produce two hormones known as T3 and T4, and the production of too much or too little of either hormone is what characterizes thyroid disease.
How this affects hearing loss is still a mystery, but the link is undisputed. Thyroid disorders such as Pendred syndrome, Grave's disease, and Hashimoto's disease either cause or contribute towards hearing loss, while thyroid cancer can indirectly lead to hearing loss as a side effect of radiation used during treatment.
Keep your thyroid healthy
Here are a few things you can do to keep your thyroid functioning properly and avoid the need for hearing loss treatment in Brockville.
More iodine helps: A deficiency of this mineral triggers hypothyroidism and goiters. It is found naturally in seafood, seaweed, eggs, dairy products and iodized salt. Talk to your doctor about proper iodine levels today.
Eat healthy: When you eat foods like blueberries, tomatoes or squash that are high in antioxidants, your thyroid benefits. Reduce raw cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts, along with refined sugars and starches. Here's a simple rule — more whole foods, fewer junk foods.
Consider supplements: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, iron, and selenium are all recommended, provided you speak to your doctor about whether they are necessary.
Exercise more: A healthy lifestyle, and thyroid health by extension depends on regular exercise. It also improves blood circulation and increases the production of T3 and T4, counteracting the effects of thyroid disease.
Thousand Islands Hearing Can Help
We are an independent hearing clinic in Brockville dedicated to helping Ontarians overcoming all kinds of hearing-related challenges. If you wish to get your hearing health evaluated, please get in touch with us for an appointment as soon as possible.
Dealing with hearing loss is not easy, which is probably why a lot of people deny suffering from it for years without considering a visit to a doctor. There are several reasons why a hearing test should not be put off though because, the sooner you identify hearing loss, the faster you can move towards a healthier life. Getting a hearing test in Brockville is the easy, first step towards finding out how hearing loss is affecting you. Here are four reasons why you should get tested as soon as possible:
It can improve your relationships
What people suffering from hearing loss don't acknowledge is that their condition can affect their families and friends as well. Those closest to you may assume you aren't listening to them, while misunderstandings may crop up simply because of your inability to follow a conversation.
You can work better
Think about how hearing loss can affect your career: A lot of work-related problems at meetings, conversations with colleagues, or the ability to follow instructions properly are directly affected by your ability to hear well. Taking a hearing test today can lead to a massive boost in confidence at the office.
Improve your well-being
Without clear communication, every aspect of your daily life stands to be adversely affected. Hearing loss has an impact on social situations and can lead to embarrassing incidents that are completely avoidable. Don’t suffer in silence when a hearing test can immediately put you on the path to better health and hearing loss treatment.
Increase personal safety
Think about driving or listening for a train whistle. Your inability to hear well can jeopardize your safety, as well as the safety of those around you. Hearing loss can also lead to other serious problems like stress, depression and high blood pressure, which is why a hearing test is extremely important for you to be able to live a healthy life.
Get Tested at Thousand Islands Hearing
Thousand Islands Hearing is an independent hearing clinic in Brockville dedicated to helping Ontarians overcoming hearing related challenges. If you have been putting off that hearing test, or have questions about why you should get one, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person in their day-to-day life. So, it’s important if you feel you’re suffering from some form of hearing impairment that you gain a full understanding on the issue so that it can be properly diagnosed and treated. To help guide you in analyzing your conductive hearing loss, Thousand Islands Hearing looks at several causes for the issue in this latest post.
Ear wax obstruction is one of the most common forms of conductive hearing loss. The wax issue can be identified during an examination and the wax can then be promptly removed by a specialist. It’s important to remember that cotton applicators may actually aggravate conductive hearing loss in some patients.
Swimmer’s ear is a condition that involves the infection of the ear canal. The problem is often related to water exposure. The main symptoms of the issue are pain and sensitivity within the ears, which grows with time. Sometimes there is swelling of the ear canal, which can further enhance conductive hearing loss.
Foreign Body in the Ear
In cases where children have placed small toys and other objects in the ear, conductive hearing loss can occur. Objects such as beads and small tips of cotton applicators can become lodged within the ear. The problem will cause pain and noise to occur within the ear canal and requires the expertise of a medical specialist in order to ensure safe removal.
Malformation of the Inner Ear
Diagnosed in early childhood, malformation of the inner ear can lead to disruptions in hearing for some children. In some cases, surgeons can operate to reconstruct the ear and reform the inner structure to ensure unimpeded hearing.
Call a Specialist to Start Treatment
If you have conductive hearing loss and it’s not associated with any of the previously highlighted issues, it’s important you speak with a hearing expert at the earliest convenience. They can help to diagnose the problem and provide clear solutions that will help to restore your hearing over time. Our team at Thousand Islands Hearing has years of experience within the industry, and we’re here to guide you in resolving your hearing loss problems. To book an appointment, call our team today!