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Related terms: Age-related hearing loss, Deafness

As Hearing Fades With Age, Dementia Risk May Rise

Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 – Age can often bring a loss of hearing, and for some, mental decline in the form of dementia. But are the two linked? New research does suggest that hearing loss raises the odds for dementia, but the jury is still out on whether one condition actually causes the other, experts say. According to a team of Irish researchers at Trinity College Dublin, approximately one-third of adults older than 65 years experiences age-related hearing loss. And prior research suggests that a loss of hearing often – but not always – precedes the onset of dementia by about 5 to 10 years. In the new study, a team led by Trinity's David Loughrey reviewed data from 36 studies that included more than 20,000 people across the world. The investigators found a small association between age-related hearing loss and increased risk for mental decline, mental impairment and dementia. "The ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Hearing Loss

Health Tip: How a Cochlear Implant Works

Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

-- A cochlear implant is a small, electronic device that when surgically placed under the skin, stimulates the nerve endings in the cochlea to provide a sense of sound to a person who is severely hard of hearing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves of the use of cochlear implants in people aged 1 year and older. The FDA explains how a cochlear implant works: A surgeon places the implant under the skin next to the ear. The implant receives sound from the outside environment, processes it, and sends small electric currents near the auditory nerve. These currents activate the nerve, which then sends a signal to the brain. The brain learns to recognize this signal and the wearer experiences this as "hearing." Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Noisy Commutes Could Cause Long-Lasting Damage

Posted 4 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 – Regularly riding public transit could be taking a toll on your hearing. New research warns that though the noise commuters are exposed to is usually within recommended limits, repeated exposure to occasional bursts of loud noise can harm hearing over time. "We now are starting to understand that chronic excessive noise exposure leads to significant systemic pathology, such as depression, anxiety, increased risk of chronic diseases and increased accident risk," said study author Dr. Vincent Lin. "Short, intense noise exposure has been demonstrated to be as injurious as longer, less intense noise exposure," said Lin, an otolaryngologist and associate professor at the University of Toronto. "This study is the first to look at and quantify the amount of noise people are exposed to during their daily commute," he noted. For their study, Lin and his colleagues explored ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Noisy Commutes Could Cause Long-Lasting Damage

Posted 4 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 – Regularly riding public transit could be taking a toll on your hearing. New research warns that though the noise commuters are exposed to is usually within recommended limits, repeated exposure to occasional bursts of loud noise can harm hearing over time. "We now are starting to understand that chronic excessive noise exposure leads to significant systemic pathology, such as depression, anxiety, increased risk of chronic diseases and increased accident risk," said study author Dr. Vincent Lin. "Short, intense noise exposure has been demonstrated to be as injurious as longer, less intense noise exposure," said Lin, an otolaryngologist and associate professor at the University of Toronto. "This study is the first to look at and quantify the amount of noise people are exposed to during their daily commute," he noted. For their study, Lin and his colleagues explored ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Health Tip: Hearing Loss May Affect Brain Health

Posted 15 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

-- About a third of people aged 65 to 74 are affected by hearing loss, as are about half of those 75 and older, the U.S. National Institute on Aging says. Aside from missing out on spirited conversation, hearing loss can affect the health of your brain, the agency says. A 2011 study funded by the NIA found that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia than older adults with normal hearing. The degree of hearing loss was directly related to the increase in dementia risk. Mild hearing loss was associated with a two-fold increase, moderate loss with a three-fold increase, and severe hearing loss with a five-fold increase in dementia risk. And it appears memory isn't the only brain function affected. A more recent study found that concentration declined faster in older adults with hearing loss, as compared to older adults with normal hearing. Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Hearing Loss

Health Tip: Relieve Ear Pressure While Flying

Posted 17 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

-- The feeling of pain or popping in your ears during a flight is a common reaction to altitude-related changes in cabin air pressure. The air in the middle ear passes to the Eustachian tube. This connects the nose with the middle ear and allows your body to maintain a proper balance of air pressure on both sides of the ear drum. The National Sleep Foundation suggests frequent yawning and swallowing during takeoff and landing to help your body adjust to the changes in air pressure. You can also chew gum or suck on hard candy. If you have a cold or sinus infection, the NSF advises taking a decongestant before flying. Read more

Related support groups: Afrin, Astelin, Oxymetazoline, Azelastine, Sinus Symptoms, Dymista, Hearing Loss, Otrivin, Olopatadine, 4-Way, Twice-A-Day, Astepro, Tetrahydrozoline, Xylometazoline, Four-Way Nasal Spray, Afrin Pump Mist, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Nostrilla, Nasal Allergy Control, 12 Hour Nasal

Clues to How You Hear in a Crowd

Posted 17 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 17, 2017 – Voice pitch plays a role in your ability to hear someone in a crowded setting, British researchers say. This process is called selective attention. It was known that selective attention occurs in a part of the brain called the auditory cortex, which processes speed information. But what triggers it was unclear. "Humans excel at selectively listening to a target speaker when there are a lot of background noises, such as many competing voices," explained study author Tobias Reichenbach. "In this din of chatter, the auditory cortex switches into action and with laser focus, processes information that enables us to zone in on one conversation. But how these selective process works have been debated," said Reichenbach, of Imperial College London's bioengineering department. In experiments, 14 volunteers listened to competing conversations while electrodes were ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Hearing Loss Can Challenge Relationships

Posted 12 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – People with hearing loss face daunting challenges, but so do those who love them, researchers report. Problems with hearing can be socially isolating for everyone involved, the British researchers explained. "This is research which reviews the existing evidence we have on the impact of hearing loss on those diagnosed with the condition, as well as those around them," said study leader Venessa Vas, who's with the National Institute of Health Research Nottingham Biomedical Research Center. Vas and her colleagues analyzed more than 70 existing studies investigating the problems faced by people with hearing loss. The studies also examined the issues faced by people who are close to someone with hearing impairments. "Hearing loss is a chronic condition that affects the whole family," Vas said in a University of Nottingham news release. "Yet, to our knowledge, our ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Hearing Loss

Health Tip: Understanding Loud Noise and Hearing Loss

Posted 5 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Hearing loss can occur after exposure to a single loud sound such as an exploding firecracker, but more commonly occurs because of repeated exposure to loud noise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyday activities that can lead to long-term hearing loss include: Listening to loud music from smartphones and similar devices. Participating in a fitness class where loud music is played. Using children's toys that produce loud sounds. Attending popular sporting events and music concerts. Using power tools. Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Some Newborns Don't Get Heart Defect, Hearing Loss Tests

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – Some newborns in the United States still aren't getting screened for hearing loss or congenital heart disease, a new report shows. "Newborn screening at birth is crucial to quickly identify infants at risk of hearing loss and congenital [inherited] heart disease so they can receive early intervention and follow-up care," said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Finding these conditions early can give infants the best chance to properly develop, and lead healthy lives," Fitzgerald added in an agency news release. Since the 1970s, newborns in the United States have been screened for numerous health conditions through dried bloodspots, the agency explained. An estimated 4 million babies undergo screening each year. Now, national recommendations suggest that newborns be screened for hearing loss and critical ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Premature Labor, Hearing Loss, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Heart Murmur, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Patients' Hearing Loss May Mean Poorer Medical Care

Posted 24 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 24, 2017 – Many seniors may not hear everything their doctors tell them, new research suggests, and that could raise the risk of medical errors. "In our study of 100 patients 60 and older, 43 reported mishearing a doctor or nurse in an inpatient or community health care setting, lending vulnerability to unintended error," said researcher Simon Smith, from the University College Cork School of Medicine, in Ireland. Earlier research has found that improved communication between doctors, nurses and families could prevent 36 percent of medical errors, Smith added. The problem is not just a matter of doctors speaking louder. "The ability to separate speech from background noise is more intricate than volume alone," he explained. Often hearing tests don't capture the complexity of how patients process medical information, and hearing aids may not be the answer, Smith said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety and Stress, Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Hearing Loss Rates Holding Steady for U.S. Teens: Study

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – There's good and bad news from a new study on the noise blasted in American teenagers' ears – more kids are listening to music via earphones than ever before, but rates of hearing loss have not increased. Still, "the overall take-home message ... is that not only are the elderly at danger of significant hearing loss – so are our children, at a time in their lives when education is key to their success in life," said hearing expert Dr. Darius Kohan, who reviewed the new study. He directs otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The new research was led by Dr. Brooke Su and Dr. Dylan Chan of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). They noted that the number of teens listening to loud music through headphones is on the rise, and even minor hearing loss in children and teenagers can take a toll on their school performance. Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Pneumococcal Disease Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis

Noise Pollution a Problem in Black Urban Neighborhoods

Posted 25 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 25, 2017 – Noise pollution levels are highest in black neighborhoods in segregated cities in the United States, a new study shows. Researchers looked at 13 years of information gathered from across the United States. They found as percentages of Asian, black or Hispanic residents rose, so did noise levels during both day and night. Neighborhoods with at least 75 percent black residents had median night-time noise levels 4 decibels higher than neighborhoods with no black residents. The study also found that neighborhoods with high levels of poverty and low levels of education had high levels of noise. "We've known that poor communities and communities of color are likely more exposed to toxic landfills and air pollution, but until now we really have not heard much about noise pollution," said study author Joan Casey. She's a postdoctoral scholar at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Hearing Loss, Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Targeting 9 Risk Factors Could Prevent 1 in 3 Dementia Cases: Study

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – One-third of dementia cases worldwide might be prevented by paying attention to nine risk factors throughout life, researchers say. These measures include: staying in school until you're at least over the age of 15; reducing hearing loss, obesity and high blood pressure in mid-life (ages 45 to 65); and reducing smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes in later life (65 and older). Taking care of these risk factors would possibly prevent 35 percent of dementia cases, the study findings suggested. In comparison, targeting the major genetic risk factor – known as ApoE – would prevent less than one in 10 dementia cases (7 percent), the study authors said. The three risk factors that could potentially make the most difference in preventing dementia include: staying in school (which would reduce dementia cases by 8 percent); reducing ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Major Depressive Disorder, Hypertension, Smoking, Dementia, Smoking Cessation, Alzheimer's Disease, Insulin Resistance, Dysthymia, Pre-Diabetes, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Hearing Loss, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Dementia with Depressive Features

A Cheaper Alternative to Hearing Aids?

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – A handful of over-the-counter "personal sound amplification products" fared as well as an expensive hearing aid in helping people pick up more words in conversation, researchers report. While the study took place in a sound booth, "in this controlled environment, some of these devices helped people with mild to moderate hearing loss as well as a hearing aid," said study author Nicholas Reed. He is an audiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore. An estimated 16 percent of Americans have trouble hearing, and the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that almost 30 million people could benefit from hearing aids. But hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, and Medicare doesn't cover them, the researchers noted. "Hearing aids are regulated medical devices and should all be able to aid someone with ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

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