A Delay in Getting Hearing Aids Can Lead to Changes in the Brain
Research is showing hearing loss is more of a problem than having to listen to your television at high levels or constantly asking people "...what did you say?" Hearing loss can impair your ability to think, talk and remember.
A study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine demonstrated an association between hearing loss and cognitive decline. People with moderate hearing loss (which means you can't hear normal conversation) were twice as likely to have cognitive decline as their peers. Those with severe hearing loss (unable to hear a ringing telephone) have five times the risk.
Another impact of hearing loss on brain function was discovered when researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder confirmed the brain's ability to process sound declines as a person's hearing declines. This was known to happen with deafness. Now, it begins to happen with early stage hearing loss.
The Brain Compensates for Hearing Loss
The University of Colorado study recruited adults between the ages of 37 to 68 to have hearing and brain exams. None of the participants were being treated for hearing loss. The group was given Electroencephalograms (EEGs) during the brain exams, which included visual stimuli. This activated the brain's visual cortex. Surprisingly, the auditory cortex was activated by the visual stimuli. This occurred in those volunteers who were determined to be suffering from hearing loss.
Researcher Anu Sharma is a professor in UC's Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Sharma determined that because those with hearing loss rely more on vision, "...what happens is the auditory cortex then gets repurposed for visual processing."
Sharma says this repurposing is called cross-modal recruitment. The Colorado study showed that if there is auditory deprivation due to hearing loss, the auditory cortex will stop firing all its synapses and will send information to other parts of the brain.
Cross-modal Recruitment's Negative Impact on Other Parts of the Brain
When the audio cortex begins sending information to other parts of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, it can cause problems. Sharma: "If it has been recruited to listen the issue becomes: Is it going to be available for encoding long-term memory, for comprehending and responding, for all the things we have to do after we listen?"
Sharma did report that the neuroplasticity can be reversed. A sub-group of adults with mild to moderate hearing loss were professionally fitted with state-of-the-art hearing aids. This sub-group showed cognitive improvement after six months.
Why You Shouldn't Delay Getting Hearing Aids
Studies have shown adults will wait more than a decade before being fitted for hearing aids. There are several reasons, including the stigma of wearing hearing aids, the price and the fact hearing loss is usually gradual. The hope is that with more adults using wireless headphones, the stigma of having hearing aids will diminish. The price of hearing aids has dropped. Most important, studies now show that those waiting to act on hearing aids could end up with a negative impact on their brains. Is there a better reason to act now?
Before you leave, we have a question for our readers.
Does background noise overly interfere with your conversations?
Do you have trouble hearing people who do not speak loudly and clearly with perfect diction?
Making a simple decision as trying a hearing aid may seem like a small step, but it can be a huge leap to a better quality of life. Many adults live with untreated hearing loss for many reasons, particularly to avoid purchasing expensive hearing devices. Because traditional hearing aids can cost several thousands of dollars making it out of reach for the many that actually need it.
So what other options are available?
Fortunately, There is an option for people who are suffering from hearing loss but don’t want to spend thousands on a solution. Thanks to advancements in design and technology, there is no need to suffer in silence any longer.
HearBloom devices are tiny, barely visible, revolutionary hearing devices. The advanced design ensures you can hear everything that is going on around you while filtering out annoying background noise and without breaking the bank.
Whatever stage your hearing loss is at, from mild to severe, you will hear the world around you in the way nature intended.
Why anyone with hearing loss can benefit from a device like HearBloom
As we mentioned earlier, many people are mistakenly embarrassed about hearing loss. However, hearing loss can have substantial negative side effects on your life. The good news is that using a hearing aid can counter those negative effects and offer several benefits you might not even realize:
✅ Increased lifespan – According to Oxford Journals, a team of Icelandic researchers discovered the mortality rate for elderly people with untreated hearing loss is higher than that of people with hearing loss who wear hearing aids.
✅ The Alzheimer’s connection – Believe it or not, there is a direct connection between hearing loss and dementia. While this connection is not fully understood, it is documented. For every 10 decibels of hearing loss the risk of dementia grows by 27%. This danger might be mitigated with the use of a hearing aid.
✅ A better quality of life – Despite the common resistance to admitting hearing loss, several studies reveal that once people with hearing loss start using a hearing aid the quality of their social lives improves dramatically.
Here at HearBloom, we have come on the scene to help reduce those costs, by making hearing devices more affordable & accessible for the many millions around the world who are losing their hearing.
You can find out more about our range of hearing devices below.
HERE IS WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
'I was going to quit my job because I couldn't hear the customers... best money you'll ever spend! -Raymond Y - Florida, USA
'I could hear children playing. I could hear the train whistle. I hadn't heard it in years.. I almost cried!' -Pete A - Texas, USA
'I purchased a pair of hearing aids from HearBloom and it has changed my life!'Allison F.- Cape Town, South Africa
'Better than a £2,000 hearing aid. It's the best money I've ever spent!'Mike P. - Newport, United Kingdom