Undiagnosed Hearing Loss in Seniors Means More Isolation, Study Finds
Senior citizens with undiagnosed or untreated hearing problems are more likely to suffer from social isolation and cognitive impairment, a recent study has found.
According to an article published in the June 2016 edition of Ear and Hearing, researchers at the University of British Columbia, UBC Okanagan, examined the impact of undiagnosed or untreated hearing issues in seniors aged 60 to 69. The study found that for every 10 decibel drop (roughly equivalent to the sound of calm breathing) in hearing sensitivity, the odds of social isolation increased by 52%.
Among the sample of seniors, a 10-decibel reduction of hearing sensitivity was also associated with cognitive declines equivalent to almost four years of chronological aging.
“Hearing loss is not thought of as a public health issue and, as a result, there are often not a lot of healthcare resources that have been put towards testing and hearing support,” says Paul Mick, MD, an otologic surgeon, public health researcher, and clinical assistant professor at UBC’s Southern Medical Program. “Social isolation has been shown to have similar impacts on mortality rates as smoking and alcohol consumption, so this is something we should examine further at both the system and individual patient level.”
Dr Mick’s study examined data collected between 1999 and 2010 by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a survey that samples 5,000 people each year across the United States. The survey examines demographic, socioeconomic, dietary and health-related issues.
In a UBC announcement about the study, Dr Mick said he would like to expand his research to see if interventions such as regular hearing screening programs similar to those that are in place for young children could positively impact health outcomes for Canadian seniors.
For details of the survey study, see the article in Ear and Hearing.
If you think you or a loved one or friend is suffering from an undiagnosed hearing loss, give Luna Family Hearing a call for a Free Hearing Test at one of our many Washington or Oregon locations, 425-455-5596 or 1-855-4327-669 in OR or WA.
Source: University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Summer is here! And so are loud sounds that could damage your hearing.
Monday, June 20th, marked the official beginning of summer! But we’ve already been hearing those warm-weather sounds. From lawn mowers to motorcycles to jet skis to outdoor concerts and fireworks, summer always has its own soundtrack.
Unfortunately, your summer soundtrack may contribute to noise-induced hearing loss. Sound is measured in decibels, and we know that a normal conversation (around 60 decibels) may continue indefinitely with little to no risk of hearing damage. But exposure to noises louder than 85 decibels for a longer period of time may put you at risk for hearing loss. And most people’s summer soundtrack is filled with such at-risk noises:
||Typical Level (in decibels)
||Risk of hearing damage (in minutes)
||Little risk over extended time
|Outdoor rock concert
|Fireworks (depending on distance from explosion)
Make sure you protect your ears so you can enjoy many more summer soundtracks, including whispers, chirping crickets and wind in trees—those less noisy but meaningful sounds. Always use ear protection when around noises louder than 85 dB or find ways to be around loud noises for as little time as possible.
At Luna Family Hearing you can purchase custom ear molds for water sports, motorcycle riding, music listening and monitors, musician performance and even for sleeping! And, just buying basic over-the-counter hearing protection either in the foam version that go in your ear canal to the over-the-ear headphone style hearing protectors will help preserve your hearing and reduce any damage caused by loud sounds in your life.
If you think you’ve experienced a change in your hearing, please call us and we will schedule a free hearing test for you today!
Enjoy your summer soundtrack! Give us a call if you need anything for your hearing loss, hearing aids, or to order custom hearing protection to enjoy your summer to its fullest.
1-855-HEAR-NOW or 425-455-5596 with locations throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Your friends at Luna Family Hearing.
Hearing loss can be subtle—so subtle that it is common for people to disregard their hearing loss for more than 10 years before seeking treatment.¹
That’s too bad, because when your hearing nerves and the areas of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they weaken. And that means that improving hearing through the use of a hearing aid is all that much more difficult. So the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to hear well again.
Consider these five benefits to treating hearing loss sooner rather than later:
- Relationships: Relationships rely on good communication. Hearing loss can hinder the potential for responsiveness, but using hearing aids is the start to repairing communication.
- Earnings: Hearing is critical to meeting one’s full potential at work. Studies show that risk of income loss can be reduced by using hearing aids.²
- Cognitive skills: Studies show that seniors with hearing loss are more prone to dementia, but by using hearing aids, they likely can improve their cognitive skills.²
- Happiness: Hearing loss can make people feel frustrated and alone. Restoring the ability to engage socially and live confidently boosts quality of life.
- Self-confidence: Using hearing aids to bring back the gift of sound can improve one’s sense of control and self-confidence.
Visit www.lunafamilyhearing.com/ReSoundLinx or call us at 1-855-HEAR-NOW or 425-455-5596 in WA & OR to schedule an appointment to discuss your hearing needs and how we can help you take the step to better hearing.
¹ American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (AHSA). Untreated Hearing Loss in Adults—A Growing National Epidemic, Accessed April 2016.
² Better Hearing Institute (BHI). Addressing Hearing Loss Proves Win-Win for Both Employer and Employee. Accessed May 2015.
6 Things to Expect at Your First Hearing Evaluation
Posted on April 19, 2016 by gnresound
Having your hearing checked for the first time? Congratulations! A hearing evaluation is a great first step toward hearing health. But you may wonder what happens at a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Well, typically six things:
1. Medical and Hearing History: After you fill out a few forms, your hearing care professional will ask about your medical and hearing history.
2. Physical Ear Exam: Expect your hearing care professional to look into both ear canals to check their general health. They will also remove earwax if necessary.
3. Comprehensive Hearing Test: Your hearing care professional will use advanced testing equipment to measure your hearing. He or she wants to determine where loss has occurred and to what degree. He or she will also measure your ability to understand speech clearly.
4. Hearing Device Demonstration: You may try on hearing aids to experience today’s advanced technology. Your hearing care professional may demonstrate some basic device functionality. But don’t worry: today’s hearing aids are getting simpler and smarter all the time.
5. Needs and Lifestyle Assessment: Your hearing care professional will ask you (and your companion if you have one) a variety of questions to better understand your lifestyle and what listening situations trouble you most. This step is very helpful in getting a hearing recommendation tailored to your needs.
6. Results Review and Treatment: Your hearing care professional will review results of both your hearing test and needs assessment. If necessary, together you’ll choose a treatment option to improve your hearing.
Simple and straightforward. You’ll wonder why you waited so long to have a comprehensive hearing test! At Luna Family Hearing your test is free! Call to schedule today at 425-455-5596 or 1-855-HEAR-NOW in Oregon and Washington states.