decline - Archive

Link found between hearing loss and cognitive health

August 21, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

For News-Herald Media
August 18, 2014

Difficulty hearing may be more than just a quality-of-life issue. Growing evidence indicates that untreated hearing loss in older adults can lead to other health conditions, and one of the most concerning is cognitive decline.

In fact, a Johns Hopkins Study found that cognitive diminishment was 41 percent more likely in seniors with hearing loss. Because maintaining the health of the brain is such a priority for older people, hearing difficulties should not be ignored.

Hearing and the brain

To hear well, the brain and ears work together. Sound is heard through the ears, and then the brain translates the noise so you can understand what it is. This means you not only hear language, music and traffic, but you comprehend these are all different sounds with different meanings.

With untreated hearing loss, the signals to your brain are weaker, and therefore you have to think much harder to understand the noises around you. When the brain is using more cognitive resources to understand sounds, other brain activities like memory and comprehension can suffer, often causing cognitive decline.

Effects of untreated hearing loss

In addition to diminished mental health, untreated hearing loss can lead to numerous health conditions: mental fatigue and stress, poor memory, concentration difficulty, social withdrawal and depression.

Read more . . .

Siemens Gives $1 Million Worth of Hearing Aids for Cancer Patients Suffering Hearing Loss

March 31, 2014 in Community News

From the Orlando Sentinel-mjameson@tribune.com 3/31/2014

Siemens is donating $1 million worth of hearing aids to cancer patients suffering from hearing loss, the company announced last week in Orlando at the American Association of Audiology conference.

Siemens will donate the hearing aids to adults and children who have incurred permanent hearing loss due to the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other cancer treatment regimens, said Scott Davis, CEO of Siemens Hearing Instruments. Hearing loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment.

Siemens is partnering with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, a national voluntary health nonprofit, and CancerCare, a leading national organization providing free support to those facing the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer.

Together the partners will bring hearing aids and audiology services to cancer patients across the country as part of The Baton Pass, a grass-roots fundraising campaign for Stand Up To Cancer, a national cause working to accelerate cancer research.

“Children and adults undergoing treatment have enough to worry about,” said Davis. “By partnering with these two organizations and their network of leading cancer institutions, we’re able to provide the gift of hearing to as many patients as possible.”

Left untreated, hearing loss in adults has been associated with cognitive decline, depression, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. In children, untreated hearing loss may result in poor cognitive and psychosocial development and delayed or compromised speech and language skills.

mjameson@tribune.com or 407-420-5158