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Can Hearing Be Restored?


Can Hearing Be Restored With so many medical advances in the 21st century, individuals with hearing loss yearn to know…can hearing be restored?  It is tempting to feel left-behind if you are hearing impaired.  The weight loss industry is rife with a dizzying number of commercials, books and advertisements Read more

Severity of Tinnitus Related to Emotional Sounds


Severity of Tinnitus Related to Emotional Sounds A research study out of the University of Illinois has suggested that the severity of tinnitus related to emotional sounds.  Not only do those with severe tinnitus process emotions differenty in the brain compared to those who report the severe tinnitus but also Read more

Rechargeable Hearing Aids


Rechargeable Hearing Aids Wouldn’t it be great if instead of replacing batteries every week in hearing devices, there were rechargeable hearing aids ?  Well, that is exactly what is available today.While hearing aid technology markets advances and exciting new features and capabilities every year that more often than fall Read more

Hearing Loss a risk factor for Dementia


Hearing Loss a risk factor for Dementia A new report  by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care suggests hearing loss a risk factor for dementia. The good news is the report suggests that managing hearing loss may be one way  to help lower the risk of Read more

Hearing Loss a risk factor for Dementia

Peninsula Hearing Services Hearing Loss Research

Hearing Loss a risk factor for Dementia

A new report  by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care suggests hearing loss a risk factor for dementia. The good news is the report suggests that managing hearing loss may be one way  to help lower the risk of dementia.  The report identified nine age-related risk factors for developing dementia. They include:

  • Before the age of 18: Level of education
  • Between the ages of 45-65: hypertension, obesity and hearing loss
  • Over the age of 65: smoking, depression, inactivity, social isolation and diabetes

dementia image leaves

What is dementia?

Dementia is a general term used to describe severe memory loss and other mental abilities typically affecting individuals 65 years of age and older. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

According to the Lancet Commissions, approximately 47 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2015 at an estimated cost of $818 billion. Nearly 85 percent of that figure is related to non-medical costs, such as those affecting family and society. Experts estimate the number of cases of individuals living with dementia will increase to 66 million by 2030 and 131 million by 2050. The report was presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Estimated cases of dementia will increase to 66 million by 2030 and 131 million by 2050.

Dementia is a debilitating condition affecting individuals as well as their family members. People with dementia are twice as likely to be hospitalized than their cognitively healthy peers, according to a study by University of Washington researchers. Additionally, a March 2017 report by the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that of the 15 million Americans providing physical, emotional and financial support for family members with dementia, 35 percent will themselves suffer health-related issues as a result.

Dementia prevention

Can dementia be prevented? Possibly. The Lancet Commissions report suggests as many as one third of all dementia cases may be delayed or prevented by eliminating some of the risk factors — specifically, active treatment of hypertension in middle and old age, as well as increasing childhood education, exercise and social engagement, reducing smoking, and managing hearing loss, depression, diabetes, and obesity.

How to manage hearing loss

With this release of this study suggesting hearing loss a risk factor for dementia, managing hearing is an important part of maintain good emotional and physical health.  After the age of 65, it might be a good idea to schedule regular hearing evaluations. Make an appointment with a qualified hearing healthcare professional to have your hearing evaluated. Ask your physician for a referral or search Google or Yelp for an audiologist in your community.

Just as many adults are diligent about getting yearly physicals, it is good practice to schedule a hearing test every 2 or 3 years. Once you have a baseline audiogram, you and your hearing health provider can closely watch for changes and take action if and when necessary.

Treat your hearing loss

Although our ears collect the sound, it’s our brain which makes sense of all the noise. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss and hearing aids are recommended, don’t delay treatment with this current study suggesting hearing loss a risk factor for dementia. Today’s hearing devices are discreet, comfortable and connect to the latest technology. Not only will you be able to hear better, recent research indicates your brain will be healthier, too.

SOURCE: edited from an article “New Study names hearing loss as one of nine risk factors for dementia” by Debbie Clason, staff writer, HealthyHearing.com , August 22, 2017)


9 Reasons Why You Should Get a Hearing Test

Peninsula Hearing Services Hearing Testing

9 Reasons Why You Should Get a Hearing Test

If you’re like millions of other Americans who experience difficulty hearing, the following article summarizes 9 reasons why you should get a hearing test.

hearingtest

  1. Hearing loss can strain your relationships. It can make it difficult for you to communicate with friends, family or even neighbors and casual acquaintances, which can lead to frustration or misunderstandings. Having a hearing test done can validate if it’s your hearing or the other person speaks softly, mumbles or places unreasonable demands on your hearing.
  2. Some studies show that treating hearing loss early can prevent it from getting worse. If you’ve already experienced some hearing loss, your audiologist can recommend changes you can make in your everyday life to protect your hearing.
  3. Hearing loss could indicate an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. If your hearing test shows that you have hearing loss, you can visit your doctor for diagnostic tests.
  4. Hearing loss can negatively impact job performance. A hearing test makes it possible for you to get help, so you can be successful at work.
  5. One of the most common effects of hearing loss is withdrawal socially, often leading depression.
  6. With recent technological innovations, today’s hearing devices are much more discreet, natural sounding and better performing in noisy environments. If your hearing test indicates that you have hearing loss, keep in mind that advances in hearing devices have made these devices more effective and more comfortable to use.
  7. Recent studies in the medical field of neurology and cognition are more strongly finding that hearing loss raises the risk of dementia. It is unsure why this is so, but it is speculated that hearing loss leads to social isolation, which in turn might contribute to the higher risk of dementia. A hearing test may help protect your cognitive abilities.
  8. Hearing loss makes it difficult to enjoy social situations. Whether you attend community events or meet with friends for lunch, hearing loss can make it hard for you to participate in conversations.
  9. Hearing loss can occur if you take pain relievers. You may have a higher chance of hearing loss if you take acetaminophen, aspirin or other nonprescription pain relievers on a regular basis.

Therefore, if you suspect hearing loss, there are 9 reasons why you should get a hearing test.  As your physician or see an audiologist with how to go about getting a hearing test.

SOURCE: edited from an article “10 Reasons why you should take a hearing test” by the Silverstein Institute (April 5, 2017)


Ringing in the Ears

Peninsula Hearing Services Tinnitus

Ringing in the Ears

There’s a ringing in the ears that no one else can hear – a buzzing, ringing or whooshing sound that won’t go away — and it is driving you crazy. Is it a disease you wonder? Or a symptom of something serious? And – will it ever go away?Most of us have experienced this condition, especially after a night enjoying the music of a favorite band or an afternoon cheering for the home team at the local stadium. If the ringing and buzzing doesn’t go away after a few days however, it’s time for a trip to your hearing healthcare professional.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus (pronounced ti-NIGHT-us or TIN-i-tus) is the sensation of a ringing in the ears or buzzing in the ears even when there is no external sound present. You might hear the noise sporadically or constantly, and it may be loud or barely noticeable. Sometimes it’s worse — especially when there isn’t any background noise, such as when you are trying to fall asleep in a quiet room.

According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), more than 50 million people suffer from some form of tinnitus. While most people consider it a minor annoyance, more than 12 million with severe cases find it disruptive to their personal and professional relationships. Many of these individuals with chronic cases of tinnitus are veterans. In fact, tinnitus is the single largest category for disability claims in the military. Hearing loss is the second.

Tinnitus as a symptom

Most hearing health professionals believe tinnitus is a symptom of another condition or illness, such as:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL): prolonged exposure to loud noise is the most common reason for up to 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with the condition. Those who have been exposed to a single, loud noise – such as an explosion or gun shot – may experience damage to the nerve receptors in the inner ear and develop NIHL. Those who work in noisy professions, such as construction, music, or landscaping or those with loud hobbies such as hunting, motorcycling, and snowmobiling may also suffer from NIHL.
  • Presbycusis: Hearing loss that develops as part of the natural aging process is known as presbycusis. During this process, parts of the hearing nerve receptors deteriorate and tinnitus may occur.
  • Ototoxic medications: Some medications, such as aspirin, several types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, sedatives, anti-depressants and quinine medications can negatively affect your hearing health and cause tinnitus.
  • Meniere’s disease: This disease affects the inner ear, causing progressive deafness and, in some cases, attacks of vertigo and tinnitus.
  • Blockage of the ear such as excess earwax, infections or benign tumors
  • Head, neck or jaw problems such as head injuries or TMJ syndrome
  • Other medical problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anemia and diabetes

In many cases, tinnitus is reduced when the underlying cause of the condition is treated.

Tinnitus as a disease

In other cases, tinnitus is so chronic and debilitating it can cause other health problems including stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and even thoughts of suicide. While it isn’t curable, it can be managed, even in these extreme situations.

Dr. James Henry, a research scientist at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore. has developed five progressive treatment protocols to help veterans with chronic cases of tinnitus manage their condition. In a 2013 post published by Psychology Today, Dr. Henry describes his five-step Progressive Tinnitus Management Program. While levels one and two deal with getting patients to hearing healthcare providers and treating any detected hearing loss, level three focuses on showing patients how to use sound, relaxation exercises and diversion activities to manage their tinnitus. Dr. Henry said 95 percent of those attending the level three workshops succeed in managing their tinnitus.

Currently, the best treatment for chronic tinnitus in which there is no underlying medical cause and there is hearing loss is hearing aids (MarkeTrak VIII: The Prevalence of Tinnitus n the United States and the Self-reported Efficacy of Various Treatments-Sergei Kochkin, et al, 2011, Hearing Review).

Seek treatment

Whether you suspect the ringing in the ears is a symptom of a larger issue or something isolated, it needs to be evaluated by a hearing care professional to determine if there is something causing it and how to best treat it. The first step is to seek treatment from an ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician or hearing healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus. In the meantime, avoid substances such as alcohol, smoking and drinking caffeinated beverages, which can exacerbate your condition. Get plenty of rest and relaxation. Finally, it’s also important to maintain a positive outlook and find a support group with people who understand what you are dealing with.

SOURCE: edited from an article by Debbie Clason, staff writer Health Hearing.com (June 1, 2017 )