Study Shows That Hearing Aids Improve Brain Function!

Study Shows That Hearing Aids Improve Brain Function!

Published on February 15, 2016

brain function and hearing loss

According to a recent study by Jamie Desjardins, PhD, an assistant professor in the speech-language pathology program at The University of Texas at El Paso, hearing aids improve brain function in people with hearing loss.

It is known that hearing loss, if left untreated, can lead to emotional and social consequences, reduced job performance, and diminished quality of life. Recently, research has shown that untreated hearing loss also can interfere with cognitive abilities because so much mental effort is diverted toward understanding speech.

“If you have some hearing impairment and you’re not using hearing aids, maybe you can figure out what the person has said, but that comes with a cost,” said Desjardins in a recent university announcement. “You may actually be using the majority of your cognitive resources – your brain power – in order to figure out that message.”

Desjardins explained that as people age, basic cognitive skills – working memory, the ability to pay attention to a speaker in a noisy environment, or the ability to process information quickly – begin to decline. Hearing loss affects more than 9 million Americans over the age of 65 and 10 million Americans ages 45 to 64, but only about 20% of people who actually need hearing aids wear them, Desjardins said.
To explore the effects of hearing loss on brain function further, Desjardins studied a group of individuals in their 50s and 60s with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss who had previously never used hearing aids. Study participants took cognitive tests to measure their working memory, selective attention, and processing speed abilities prior to and after using hearing aids.

After two weeks of hearing aid use, tests revealed an increase in percent scores for recalling words in working memory and selective attention tests, and the processing speed at which participants selected the correct response was faster. By the end of the study, participants had exhibited significant improvement in their cognitive function.

“Most people will experience hearing loss in their lifetime,” said Desjardins. “Think about somebody who has hearing loss and is still working and they’re not wearing hearing aids. They are spending so much of their brainpower just trying to focus on listening. They may not be able to perform their job as well. Or if they can, they’re exhausted because they are working so much harder. They are more tired at the end of the day, because it’s a lot more taxing. It affects their quality of life.”

Source: The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
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New Testing Equipment!

We have just invested in some new ‘state of the art’ testing equipment, enabling us to provide some of the most sophisticated and in depth testing in the area.  All of our hearing centres are now able to provide as well as our ‘free’ hearing test – a full clinical diagnostic test to include:

  • Extended Frequency range testing – to test all of your hearing spectrum
  • Video Otoscopy – a video look in the ear canal
  • Tympanometry – a test to measure the function of the middle ear
  • Tinnitus Assessment psychoacoustical tests like pitch & loudness matching
  • Speech testing
  • Speech in noise testing – an important test as that is where most people have hearing difficulties
Posted in Sound Advice

New Hearing Centre in Lincoln Officially Opened

Opening of our new Hearing Centre
Lincoln Hearing Centre

Paralympian – Jack Hodgson, doing the honours by cutting the ribbon to open our ‘New’ Hearing Centre in Lincoln.  Jack is a Commonwealth Gold Medalist in Judo and we were extremely happy that Jack took time out of his busy schedule to visit us to open the centre.  Jack suffers from Ushers Syndrome and currently wears hearing aids from Sound Advice Hearing.  Jack is currently focusing on representing his country at the 2016 Paralympic Hames in Rio de Janeiro. A big thank you & good luck from all at Sound Advice Hearing.

Director - Anne-MArie Scigala, Hearing Aid Audiologist - Lorraine Tipler & Paralympian - Jack Hodgson
Director – Anne-Marie Scigala, Hearing Aid Audiologist – Lorraine Tipler & Paralympian – Jack Hodgson
Posted in Sound Advice

Get Ready For Tinnitus Awareness Week

Tinnitus Awareness Week 8 - 12th February
Tinnitus Awareness Week

Why not come along and join us week commencing 8th February & help us raise awareness for tinnitus.  We can provide Tinnitus Advice along with some ‘New’ tinnitus testing.  We look forward to seeing you and we will ‘put the kettle on’.

Posted in Sound Advice