Hearing Resources

Hearing Resources

Another resource to provide you with access to many helpful hearing related articles.

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By Pacific Hearing Care 25 Jul, 2017

In addition to symptoms that include tremors, muscle rigidity, slowed movement, and changes in speech, hearing loss often occurs in elderly individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD)-a progressive brain disorder that leads to decreased production of dopamine.

Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter the brain releases in the body to regulate movement. The neurotransmitter also plays a role in sleep, memory cognition, and the ability to process sounds.

Cause of PD Hearing Loss

The reason isn't known for certain, but some people with PD don't only have trouble producing speech; they have difficulty understanding it. Although aging is a factor that frequently causes hearing loss, low levels of dopamine may be a contributing factor in older adults with PD.

Age-related hearing loss is due to damage to sensory nerve cells in the inner ear, making it more difficult to hear. However, research suggests  that the neurotransmitter dopamine helps to regulate the auditory pathways and may have an effect on auditory neurons that are responsible for processing auditory information.

The loss of dopamine can lead to damage to the cochlea. The cochlea is the spiral-shaped cavity of the inner ear that converts sound waves into auditory nerve impulses that the brain translates into sounds.

Dopamine helps protect the cochlea against noise exposure, which can cause permanent hearing loss over time. Sounds that are too loud or continuous exposure to noise over a prolonged period can damage structures in the inner ear. Like age-related hearing loss that usually occurs in both ears, noise-induced hearing loss can occur in both ears.

Effects on Communication

A key side effect of hearing loss is how it interferes with communication. For a person with Parkinson's disease who may already have speech problems, hearing loss can make the ability to communicate with others even harder.

Since PD is a chronic disease that affects the nervous system, weakened muscle control of muscles in the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat can occur, causing slurred speech and hoarseness. When hearing loss occurs in combination with speech problems, communication becomes extremely difficult.

The loss of hearing doesn't simply involve a reduction in the loudness of sound. It also affects the clarity of the sounds a person hears. Words seem to blend together, making them sound jumbled. The bad news is hearing impairments that distort sounds make it hard to understand what other people are saying during normal conversation.

Frequency of Occurrence

Although the loss of hearing isn't always due to aging alone, reports show that some level of hearing loss occurs in about one-third of older adults between the ages of 61 and 70. The frequency of hearing loss rises to more than 80 percent among adults after the age of 85. Since the average age for the onset of Parkinson's disease is 60, it isn't surprising that the two conditions may be related.

A study published in the European Journal of Neurology  examined a potential link between hearing loss and an increased risk of Parkinson's disease in Taiwanese individuals age 65 and older. Results of the study showed that Parkinson's disease occurred more often in individuals with hearing loss than in subjects without hearing loss. Although additional research is needed, researchers speculate that hearing loss may be a non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease.

Hearing Aids as Treatment

Treatment of hearing loss related to PD involves being fitted for a hearing aid to amplify and improve the quality of sound. A hearing aid helps you hear sounds more clearly, which makes speech more understandable.

It's also important to schedule regular hearing evaluations with an audiologist to ensure that your hearing isn't deteriorating more. Early detection that your hearing is getting worse allows the audiologist to make any necessary hearing aid adjustments to provide for your changing needs.

Don't let hearing problems diminish your enjoyment of life. Contact the hearing specialists at Pacific Hearing Care  for a full hearing evaluation and more information about the treatment options available to you.

By Pacific Hearing Care 28 Jun, 2017

When many people start to lose their hearing, they try to ignore the hearing loss and pretend everything is normal. They might not want to admit that something is wrong and might feel embarrassed asking for help.

If this is the case for you, you should understand how much hearing aids can improve your life. While asking for help may seem daunting, consider all the benefits you'll get from wearing hearing aids.

1. You Can Improve Your Relationship With Your Grandchildren

Do you ask your grandchildren to repeat themselves over and over until they get frustrated and walk away? You likely feel just as frustrated because you want to connect with your grandchildren but just can't understand what they're telling you.

As most people get older, they have trouble hearing higher pitches, and the high-pitched voices of young children are notoriously difficult for grandparents to hear. With a hearing aid, though, you'll be able to hear your grandchildren's voices once again.

A hearing aid works by converting sound into electrical signals. The hearing aid sends these signals to an amplifier, which amplifies the sound in your ears.

2. You Can Improve Your Safety While Driving

Since you first noticed your hearing loss, you may have begun to feel nervous behind the wheel. You can't hear people honking at you, and you can't hear ambulance and police sirens.

Fortunately, hearing aids can help you hear these sounds and feel safer as a result.

3.  You Can Watch Television Without Captions

You likely love relaxing in front of your favorite movie or television show. But your hobby may no longer be pleasurable if you can't hear what's going on.

You can turn up the volume, but the loud volume may bother your family members and neighbors. You can watch with closed captioning, but closed captioning isn't available for every program. Plus, captions don't always capture exactly what the characters are saying, and they just don't provide the same experience as listening to the characters talking does.

With hearing aids, you will likely be able to hear the television at a normal volume once again. You can also invest in an assistive listening device that streams the TV's sound directly through your hearing aids.

4. You Can Feel Comfortable at Parties

A common complaint from many patients with hearing loss is that they can't hear well in a party or group setting. There are so many noises and sounds in these situations that following a conversation can be difficult. Some people with hearing loss stop going to parties and group activities because they feel embarrassed that they can't keep up with the conversation.

Fortunately, hearing aids can help you hear even in noisy environments. You can once again converse with family and friends and follow the trail of the conversation.

5. You Can Talk on the Phone

Some people with hearing loss give up talking on the phone entirely. When they can't watch a speaker's facial expressions or read their lips, they find it very difficult to understand what they're saying.

Fortunately, hearing aids can improve your hearing over the phone as well as in person. Some types of hearing aids come with a device called a telecoil. The telecoil picks up signals from the phone and converts it into sound. Telecoils allows you to hear what the other person is saying on the phone without background noise getting in the way.

You may at first be embarrassed about getting hearing aids, but you should think of all the benefits you'll get from high-quality devices. With the right hearing aids, you can navigate through your day without problems and continue to cultivate relationships with your family members.

For top-quality, affordable hearing aids, turn to Pacific Hearing Care.

 

 

More Posts

What Is A Hearing Instrument Specialist?

A hearing instrument specialist (HIS) is a professional trained specifically in the fitting of the hearing aids. They are also known as hearing aid specialist and hearing aid dispensers. Hearing instrument specialist evaluates people with hearing problems and selects the best instrument to improve their condition.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HEARING LOSS?

At times, people notice the signs of hearing loss; however, do not take the steps to get treated right away. Typically, it takes people an average of seven years to seek treatment. 
Some common signs that you may have hearing loss if:
  • Having difficulties hearing over the phone.
  • Trouble following a conversation when people are talking at the same time
  • Frequently complaining people are mumbling when they are talking
  • Turning up the volume of the T.V.
  • Constantly having someone to repeat what they have just said
  • Avoiding certain places or people because you cannot understand them

I think i may have a hearing problem...what should i do?

Feel free to get in touch with our staff to schedule in an appointment with one of our specialist.
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