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It (hearing loss) not only increases age-related memory loss; it increases the incidents of Alzheimer’s disease, so if you can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or delay it with good hearing devices that’s a major public health advance.
Quote by Erik Kandel, Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Hearing Loss impacts over 48 Million people in the U.S. and is listed by the Department of Health and Human Services as the 3rd most common chronic disorder affecting today’s seniors. Unfortunately, for most of us, age-related hearing loss is inevitable, impacting nearly 50% of seniors between the ages of 60-70, almost two thirds of people between the age of 70-80, and nearly 80% of individuals over the age of 80.
Age-related hearing loss is characterized by the progressive loss of receptor (hair) cells in the ear, that consequently reduces the quantity and quality of neural connections from the ear to the brain. This slow-onset disease can have a significant impact on several key brain areas, including the memory, hearing, speech and language portions of cognition. Several key research studies have pointed to the potential links of hearing loss and Dementia, including the groundbreaking work from Dr. Lin and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins Medical Center that indicate hearing loss can increase the risk of Dementia by 200-500%.
Every 3-4 seconds, another patient is diagnosed with Dementia. Rates of Dementia are estimated to triple in the next 30 years. Unlike some other diseases, with Dementia the physical body is estimated to outlive the individual’s mental capabilities by 10 or more years. There is no cure for this catastrophic disease, but there are treatments available, including several ways to decrease your risk of developing Dementia.
Recent research has found that hearing loss can increase the risk of developing Dementia by 200-500%. This report, from researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center and the National Institute on Aging, found that individuals with hearing loss (when compared to participants with normal hearing) are at a significantly higher risk of developing Dementia over time. The more hearing loss they had, the higher their likelihood of developing the memory-robbing disease. “A lot of people ignore hearing loss because it’s such a slow and insidious process as we age,” Dr. Frank Lin (of Johns Hopkins Medical Center) says. “Even if people feel as if they are not affected, we’re showing that it may well be a more serious problem.”
Three risk factors associated with hearing loss and Dementia include Social Isolation, Cerebral Atrophy, and Cognitive Overload.
NeuroTechnology™ is designed to treat hearing loss by using complex stimulation patters to help replace diminished auditory input to the brain. Traditional hearing aids just make things louder, but with today’s new NeuroTechnology™ treatment options you can hear more clearly and more naturally in all listening environments…. even in noisy restaurants!
Today’s NeuroTechnology™ hearing aids include the following features:
How Do Neurotechnology™ Hearing Aids Work?
There are different types of NeuroTechnology™ – each custom designed and programmed to match your hearing loss and meet your hearing needs, but they all ultimately perform the same function: to help you hear more clearly and more naturally.
We hear with our BRAINS, not with our ears. Today’s NeuroTechnology™ is the only proven hearing loss treatment options with a focus on enhancing brain function by providing enhanced clarity surround-sound with background-noise cancelling features
NeuroTechnology™ can be used to address the full spectrum of hearing difficulties, from people with audiometric ‘normal hearing’ to individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.
What Are The Different Types Of Neurotechnology™ Hearing Aids?
NeuroTechnology™ comes in several shapes and sizes, including some invisible options for maximum discreetness. Your hearing health care provider will review your treatment options based on your specific hearing loss and hearing needs. Regardless of which treatment option is right for you, whether you’re out to dinner with friends, hitting the beach, meeting with clients, or hiking, you’ll be able to hear what matters most with today’s hearing loss technology.
SEVERAL FEATURES AVAILABLE INCLUDE:
Invisible Treatment Options: Once placed in your ear, it’s hassle-free. You may even forget you’re wearing the device! And that’s the point. Hearing loss shouldn’t hold you back, and neither should your hearing solution. Features in today’s invisible technology options include:
Mini ‘Receiver In The Ear’ Options: Groundbreaking NeuroTechnology™ is fast and precise enough to analyze and follow the dynamics of the entire auditory environment. It can differentiate between speech and background noise. Advances in miniaturization of technology have led to the breakthrough of new NeuroTechnology™ proven to support brain function, including working memory, selective attention, and processing speed (The Hearing Review: Dr. Desjardin, University of Texas, El Paso). These new devices have 3 features designed specifically to maintain the brain’s innate ability to hear in all different listening situations:
In addition, some options include Bluetooth and Internet compatible options that enable:
Take Care of Your Neurotechnology™ and It Will Take Care Of You:
Regular maintenance and care of your Neurotechnology™ is critical to the success of the devices and for success in treating your hearing loss.
NOTE: In the rare case that your NeuroTechnology is malfunctioning and not providing ample stimulation, please follow these 2 steps before calling the office: 1) change the batteries, and 2) change the wax basket. These are the cause of 98% of all hearing aid emergency appointments and can help save you time and travel! As always, you are welcome to call the office if you are uncomfortable with either of these and would like help.
Once you are comfortable and you know specifically which audiologist you want to treat you, your spouse, your parent, or another family member, the next question typically is, “How much is this going to cost and how am I going to pay for it?”
I have always believed that the patient needs options to help them invest in proper hearing health care. A reputable Audiology practice understands that, for some people, the upfront investment in hearing healthcare can be prohibitive. Patients must be provided with options.
All Excellence In Audiology offices will offer reputable creditors / banks to help establish a payment plan (some with 0% interest for 1 year, or even a longer term payment plan with fixed interest terms).
Be sure to ask your provider if they offer the exclusive Excellence In Audiology Hear For Life™ program that provides individuals the opportunity to pay a one time down-payment and a small monthly fee thereafter with the advantage of full warranty (loss, damage and repair coverage for life), complete access to supplies, batteries and service appointments for life, and no-cost automatic upgrades on new versions of Neurotechnology for life.
Simple answer: If you are over 50, you should have your hearing evaluated. If it is determined that you have hearing loss, early treatment is the key to success with Neurotechnology™.
A More Detailed Answer: I always stress the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss to each of my patients.
The American Speech Language Hearing Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Medical Association have all considered the recommendation of including ‘hearing evaluation / screening’ between the ages of 50 and 60 years young.
Similar to going to your primary care physician every year, obtaining a baseline hearing test can help to better serve you and your clinician to guide the medical recommendation at current or future appointments. Obtaining a baseline of normal hearing never hurt anyone!
Regardless of age, you should pursue a proper hearing evaluation if you are noticing any of the symptoms of hearing loss (e.g., difficulty hearing in noisy situations or difficulty hearing the TV compared to others), if your family is suggesting you get a hearing test, or if you have ringing in your ears (defined as Tinnitus).
Unfortunately waiting too long can significantly impact the expectations and outcome of treatment, and sadly every audiologist I know has met a patient who waited too long and for whom the benefits of treatment would be minimal.