News - Page 9 of 46 - Peninsula Hearing Services

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 Test near Half Moon Bay

Peninsula Hearing Services Hearing Loss, Hearing Testing

Hearing Test near Half Moon Bay

If you are seeking a hearing test near Half Moon Bay, consider Peninsula Hearing Services in Burlingame.  Owned and operated by a California licensed Doctor of Audiology, a comprehensive hearing test is an important part of managing good health.  Most hearing loss occurs so gradually an individual is not aware of it until it has progressed to a more advanced stage.  If hearing loss is ignored and untreated, it can get worse.

If hearing loss is suspected, the only way to know for sure is to have a hearing test performed.  Hearing evaluations, often referred to as a hearing test, are performed by audiologists or other licensed hearing healthcare providers.

How is a Hearing Test Performed ? 

A hearing test is very similar in nature to what a vision test is to the eyes.   Like a vision test that measures how well one can see various sized letters on a chart, a hearing test measures how well one can “hear” different tones/pitches and understand speech.  The test is quick, painless and non-invasive and the results will be available immediately.

The hearing professional will perform the following:

  • Case History: patient interview regarding ear and hearing history/concerns.
  • Otoscopy: examination of the ear canals with a type of ear magnifier named an   This is performed to determine health of the eardrum and ear canal itself and if there is any blockage of the ear canal.
  • Hearing Test: different pitched tones are presented to one ear at a time using headphones.  The purpose of the test is to measure how softly one can detect each of the different tones measured against a baseline of normal hearing.  The ability to understand speech is then measured for each ear.  The responses are recorded on a graph called an audiogram.
  • Other Tests:Other tests include how well your middle ear, the space between the ear drum and hearing nerve, is functioning.  Middle ear testing is performed using a special headphone named a bone oscillator.  If middle ear dysfunction is suspected,  a second test named tympanometry may be administered which measures air pressure behind the ear drum and how well the ear drum moves.

 

Similar to vision/eyesight well exams, hearing should be evaluated every 3-5 years; sooner if a change in hearing is noticed.  If you suspect hearing loss, it is important you seek a thorough hearing evaluation as soon as possible. Conveniently located off Peninsula Ave and Hwy 101, Peninsula Hearing Services provides professional services for a hearing test near Half Moon Bay.

Further Reading

How to Interpret a Hearing Test

Better Hearing Institute:  The Signs of Hearing Loss

Does Hearing Loss Get Worse over Time


Reducing Hearing Aid Repairs

Peninsula Hearing Services Hearing Aid Repairs, Hearing Aid Technology Advances

resound-isolate water picture

(picture from hearingmojo.com)

Reducing Hearing Aid Repairs

Recent advances in hearing aid manufacturing technology has produced nanotechnology protective coatings for delicate electronics and parts that are significantly reducing hearing aid repairs.

ReSound, one of the industry’s top 6 manufacturers, recently announced that its iSolate Nantotech protective coating has reduced moisture related repairs to its hearing aids by 50 percent since its introduction six months ago.

How Do the Coatings Work?

How are protective coatings reducing hearing aid repairs?  ReSound’s iSolate nanotech coating, now used in all of ReSound’s hearing aids, establishes a thin protective layer that bonds at the molecular level with the internal and external components of the

hearing aid, shielding them without affecting their performance. The application process, which is done in a vacuum chamber, ensures global coating of all components inside and out. Liquids or moisture coming into contact with the hearing aids simply roll off without being absorbed.

Evidence

Because moisture related failure is one of the main causes of hearing aid returns, the innovation has had a dramatic impact on product reliability. ReSound said that in a review of 50,000 hearing aids sold in the first six months since its introduction, it found that the iSolate nanotech protective coating decreased moisture and debris related repairs by 50 percent.  This data show promise that indeed the Resound isolate nanotech protective coating introduced in their new hearing aids are effective at reducing hearing aid repairs.

The Future of Reducing Hearing Aid Repairs

We can expect to see more announcements like these–although ReSound is the first manufacturer that author David Copithorne of the article Resound’s Water Resistant “iSolate Nanotech” Coating is on Cutting Edge of a Revolution in Hearing Aid Materials has seen who has actually documented the benefits of new materials by tracking a reduction in repair rates–because reliability is a critical factor in the success of any new in-ear or behind-the-ear product.

Any audiologist or hearing aid designer can tell you that the inner ear is one of the most hostile places on the planet for miniature, high-performance, digital electronic devices. It’s wet, humid, and full of potential infectious agents. And because the devices themselves are so tiny, they are far too easy for large human fingers (especially for those of us who are “all thumbs”), to drop on the floor and otherwise abuse. Therefore the space-age materials that are making today’s hearing aids more durable and comfortable than ever before may be as important to their acceptance by more users as their ability to provide high-quality amplified sound.

Source:  Hearing Mojo.com, 3/16/2011: David Copithorne. Resound’s Water-Resistant “iSolate Nanotech” Coating is on Cutting Edge of a Revolution in Hearing Aid Materials.


Hearing Loss and Dementia

Peninsula Hearing Services Cognition and hearing loss

The Problem

An increasing number of independent scientific studies are finding an unexpected connection between hearing loss and dementia. Although the findings do not simply suggest that hearing loss leads to dementia, the findings are concerning: the facts are that researchers have found that individuals with hearing loss are at a higher risk for developing cognitive disorders, including dementia. Why that is so could be due to many things, including social factors such that some of those with hearing loss tend to lead more isolated and less social lifestyles, leading to less intellectual and emotional stimulation. Cognitive function is an intellectual process that allows us to become aware of, perceive, or comprehend ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and memory.

The Evidence

A 2011 study1 was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore in partnership with the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Frank Lin and others found that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop cognitive problems than others who retained normal hearing as they aged, and the risk of developing dementia increased with the degree of hearing loss. The study found that people with severe hearing loss were five times more likely to develop cognitive problems, and even mild hearing loss doubled the risk for serious cognitive impairment.

In a follow-up study2 by Dr. Lin and colleagues substantiated that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than older adults with normal hearing, and the degree of cognitive degeneration was directly related to the amount of hearing loss. The study found that cognitive capabilities for those with hearing loss declined 30 to 40 percent faster than they did for a group with normal hearing. According to Dr. Lin, the results of the study should prompt an effort to make age-related hearing loss a public health priority.

Other studies3 indicate that hearing loss accelerates atrophy in auditory areas of the brain, making it more difficult for older adults to comprehend speech. “Your hearing ability directly affects how the brain processes sounds, including speech,” says Dr. Jonathon Peelle, PhD, research associate in the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Preserving your hearing doesn’t only protect your ears, but also helps your brain perform at its best.”

Pathways to Dementia

pathways to dementia

Although the studies could not determine a direct link between hearing loss and dementia, researchers proposed several pathways that could lead from hearing loss to dementia, and these are summarized in the figure. The first pathway (gold arrows) is known as “cognitive load.” As hearing loss progresses, the brain must devote greater resources to auditory processing (speech and sound) at the detriment of thinking and memory. Another pathway (blue arrows) leads from hearing loss to social isolation, prompted by increasing communication difficulties. Social isolation has been well established in previous research as a risk factor for cognitive decline. A third pathway (green arrows) is known as auditory deprivation. When the hearing nerves and regions of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they atrophy (wither away), a process that can accelerate the onset of dementia. An argument could be made that some other, yet-to-be-determined physiologic factor may serve as a common cause for both hearing loss and dementia, but many researchers agree that there is strong evidence to support a causative link from hearing loss to significant cognitive decline in older adults.

Summary

Although science doesn’t have clear evidence that hearing aids, cochlear implants and other rehabilitative measures will reduce or prevent cognitive degeneration, many clinical researchers are convinced that these interventions improve the lives of those with hearing impairment. As Dr. Lin noted, “they are able to engage again: they are no longer isolated.”  So…there are no downsides to treatment…but there may be serious downsides to neglecting hearing loss.

References

1Lin, Frank R., et al. Hearing Loss and Incident Dementia. Arch Neurol. 2011;68(2):214-220.

2Lin, Frank R., et al. Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2013; 173(4):293-299

3Penn Medicine News Release, August 2011. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/

Source: Pacific Northwest Audiology, 6/15/2015 (this article has been edited from its original version).