Left Untreated, a Hearing Impairment Causing Safety Concerns

The month of June is designated as National Safety month. One of the things an individual can do is to make sure your hearing is up to par.  According to Dr. Frank Lin, assistant professor of Otology at John Hopkins University School of Medicine; hearing loss, like heart disease or high blood pressure, if left untreated can lead to serious problems.  Loneliness and isolation, problems commonly associated with hearing loss – are among those older people fear the most, says Lin.

A new study by the National Institute on Aging and John Hopkins University School of Medicine finds that individuals with hearing loss are much more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Those with severe hearing problems, the study reports, were five times more likely to develop dementia then those with normal hearing.  This occurs due to lack of “proper” stimulation to the auditory portion of the brain that interprets speech.  Even mild hearing loss doubled the risk of dementia.  That risk, says Lin, a co-author of the study, appeared to increase once hearing loss began to interfere with the ability to communicate.  A prime example would be a noisy restaurant, or anywhere else ambient noise is present.

Read more: Left Untreated, a Hearing Impairment Causing Safety Concerns

 

Aging Healthy & Gracefully

The human mind and body are wonderful inventions.  The most important thing one can do as the natural aging process occurs is try to maintain a healthy outlook on life.  As we age, the mind and body begin to slow down.  There are many ways to combat this inevitable process.

A regimen of exercise & healthy diet are a prime example of ways to slow down “Mother Nature”.  However, nothing lasts forever.

The older we become, the more “Mother Nature” wears things out.  Nerves in the inner ear (cochlea), begin to die off in the higher frequencies first.  This affects not only the ability to hear; but clarify exactly what is being said.  This process will gradually continue to worsen.  If left unchecked, a hearing deficit can lead to isolation, depression, and an overall feeling of being “left out” of normal daily activities enjoyed and participated by family members and friends.

Read more: Aging Healthy & Gracefully

 

Side Effects

Most people don’t realize the adverse impact on a person’s hearing caused by many medications.  These drugs, in both prescription form and un-prescribed, are known as oto-toxic.  There are far too many to list.  However, the most common are from chemo-therapy, steroids, and painkillers, various types of antibiotics, nicotine, and alcohol over a period of time.

The stronger the drug, the sooner it may have a negative impact on an individuals ability to hear and understand speech.

Chemotherapy patients are especially vulnerable in some cases suffering from sudden onset, or bilateral progressive hearing loss.

Steroids, painkillers, and antibiotics also are responsible for forms of hearing impairment.  Some hearing loss from these drugs is temporary, and some are permanent, causing irreparable damage to the cochlea of the inner ear.  This is where the cilia, or hair cells, transmit electrical impulses to the auditory portion of the brain for speech intelligibility.  Once these nerves of the inner ear are damaged, there is no way to repair them.  Consequently, the individuals suffering from this type of impairment will have difficulty with speech discrimination eventually, if not immediately.

Read more: Side Effects

 

Unplugged

The majority of hearing instruments occlude the ear canal, sometimes making the user feel “plugged up”, or sound like their heads are “in a barrel”.   Until now, manipulating the sound on a computer or increasing the size of the vents (to release sound pressure) were the only ways to alleviate the “head in a barrel” feeling noted by some first time hearing aid wearers. Generally, this phenomenon occurs due to sounds provided from new hearing instruments that were not previously perceived before the new devices were worn.  The auditory portion of the brain takes time to “re-train” itself not only to hear new sounds not previously perceived, but also interpret these new sounds.

Read more: Unplugged

 

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Contact Us

Leonardi Hearing Center
16251 N. Cleveland Ave. #8
Corner of Littleton Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33903

Phone: 239-997-8288

Toll-Free: 866-332-0566

Fax: 239-997-8084

Email: leonardihearingcenter
@comcast.net


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Instrument Sciences

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