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Hearing loss undertreated, despite evidence that hearing aids reduce depression, anxiety

Hearing loss is undertreated among adults, despite evidence that hearing aid technology can  reduce depression and anxiety and improve cognitive functioning, according to a presentation at  the American Psychological Association Annual Convention.   “Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to  stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help,” David Myers, PhD, of Hope  College in Holland, Michigan, said in a press release.    David Myers   A study from the National Council on Aging with a cohort of 2,304 individuals with hearing loss  found that participants who did not use hearing aids were 50% more likely to experience sadness  or depression than participants who did wear them.  Additionally, individuals who used hearing aids were significantly more likely to regularly  participate in social activities.  Another study, published in the Archives of Neurology, found that hearing loss may be a risk  factor for dementia. Years of sensory loss may increase susceptibility to dementia, according to  the study’s researchers.   Further, social isolation, which is common among individuals with hearing loss, is a known risk  factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders, Myers said.   According to the National Center for Health Statistics, individuals with hearing loss wait an  average of 6 years from the first symptoms of hearing loss before seeking treatment, and adults  aged 20 to 69 years who have hearing loss are 50% less likely to use hearing aids compared with  adults aged 70 years or older.  In addition to denial, vanity and less awareness of how much they are missing are reasons for  this delay, according to Myers, who has hearing loss.  “Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves  hard of hearing,” according to Myers. “Getting people to use the latest in hearing aid technology  can help them regain control of their life, and achieve emotional stability and even better  cognitive functioning.”  Reference:  Myers D. A quiet world: the psychology of hearing and hearing loss. Presented at: American  Psychological Association Annual Convention; Aug. 6-11, 2015; Toronto.   

Do you know these five trending facts about today’s new hearing aids?

They can be invisible now. Many new hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, providing both natural sound quality and ease of use.   They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes. Technological advances with directional microphones have made hearing aids more versatile than ever before in a broad range of sound environments.   You can enjoy water sports and sweat while wearing them. Waterproof digital hearing aids have arrived. This feature is built into some new hearing aids for those concerned about water, humidity and dust. This feature suits the active lifestyles of swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, intensive sports enthusiasts and anyone working in dusty, demanding environments.   They work with smartphones, home entertainment systems and other electronics. Wireless, digital hearing aids…

Next-generation hearing aids have significant improvements

Embedded computer chips make hearing aids come in loud and clear By: Drs. Oz and Roizen Health Advice, Published on Tue Apr 16 2013 Q: I’m turning 60 next week, and maybe all those rock ‘n’ roll concerts I went to are finally taking their toll on my hearing. I think I need a hearing aid, but I don’t want to look like my grandmother. Any advice? — Adele, C., Boulder, Colo. A: Oh, yes. For you—and all the rock ‘n’ rollers in their 60s and 70s—the answer to “Tommy, can you hear me?” finally might be yes, because of the amazing breakthroughs audiologists are making these days. For those of us old enough to have experienced the British Invasion (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones,…

Protect Your Child’s Hearing

Understanding the Threat of Noise Noise is one of the greatest threats to your child’s hearing. But unlike many causes of hearing loss, preventing hearing damage from noise is largely within our control. Noise threatens our hearing because we hear sound when delicate hair cells in our inner ears vibrate. This creates nerve signals that the brain understands as sound. If we overload these delicate hair cells with exposure to loud noises, we damage them. This results in sensorineural hearing loss and often tinnitus—or “ringing in the ears.” The hair cells that vibrate most quickly—and that allow us to hear higher-frequency sounds like birds singing and children speaking—usually become damaged, dying first. Noise in our everyday lives may be damaging even to a child’s hearing,…

Father’s Day: Give Dad the Gift of Hearing

Father’s Day is a great time to think about the crucial role that dads play in the lives of their children and grandchildren. So, before reaching for this year’s tie, hand-tool, or trinket, how about a gift that will really strengthen the connection between you and your father — the gift of better hearing? While it may sound unusual, there’s probably no better gift for a dad with an untreated hearing loss than one of the new, digitally-advanced, and remarkably small hearing devices. “Think of it as the world’s smallest power tool,” said Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. “Today’s hearing devices can amp-up your dad’s hearing and strengthen his ability to communicate clearly and easily with his family.” Hearing loss…

What is the Best Hearing Aid for You?

There is nothing more important to the manufacturers of hearing aids and your Audiologist than your satisfaction with their product and services. Like any smart professional, they know that satisfied clients lead to repeat business and to positive word-of-mouth advertising for their products. Because their customers often ask the same question: What is the best hearing aid for me? The answer is that the best hearing aid is a device for one or both ears that best helps you address a hearing impairment. The hearing aid industry is interested in delighting you, in meeting your needs and finding the best hearing aids for you. The industry is people-oriented in that it allows significant interaction and communication between the person with the hearing loss and the…

Loud and Clear 

Hear that? It’s the sound of a technological revolution for the hearing impaired. Bluetooth® wireless technology turns hearing aids into headsets for phones, MP3 players and more. By Karen D. Schwartz There was a time, not too long ago, when hearing-impaired individuals who use hearing aids had to wait to reach a landline before they could make or accept business calls. Cell phones tended to create so much audio feedback in the hearing aids that it could be difficult to hear conversations. “Conventional hearing aids and cell phones used together is problematic, because there is a lot of static, usually from radio interference, which causes a lot of static sound in hearing aids,” explains Crilles Bak Rasmussen, a research and development engineer for Copenhagen, Denmark–based Oticon A/S. “Those…

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