Archive for May, 2011

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Wider use of hearing aids may curb Alzheimer’s, American study finds

Reuters February 16, 2011

People who are hard of hearing have increased odds of developing dementia as they age, fuelling hopes that wider use of hearing aids might stem the rise of dementia, according to a U.S. study.

The study of more than 600 men and women by Johns Hopkins University surgeon Frank Lin and colleagues showed that the worse the participants’ hearing, the greater their dementia risk.

“Does it mean you will develop dementia if your hearing is impaired? Absolutely not,” Lin said, noting that while a small study from the 1980s found similar results, this study was the first one to follow people over time.

“But is your risk increased? You betcha.”

With funding from the National Institute on Aging, Lin and his colleagues followed more than 600 men and women aged 36 to 90 over an average of 12 years. All had a hearing test done at the start of the study, but none had dementia at that point.

Overall, nine per cent of the participants developed some kind of dementia during the study, which was published in the Archives of Neurology. The most common form was Alzheimer’s disease.

Those with mild hearing loss had nearly twice the chance of developing dementia compared to people with normal hearing, even after ruling out the influence of age and other factors.

The risk increased three-fold for those with moderate hearing loss, and five-fold for severe impairment, the study found.

Lin noted that the reasons for the link are unclear, saying there were three possibilities, such as hearing loss and dementia sharing a common, unknown cause.

Another possibility is that elderly people who are hard of hearing may have extra difficulties coping with declining mental function, or that the social isolation and loneliness caused by declining hearing could also fuel the dementia.

Should these last two be the case, Lin added, there could be a significant impact on public health and health-care spending.

“Treating hearing loss is not going to hurt you, except perhaps your wallet,” Lin said, noting that he is currently running a trial to see if treating hearing loss would delay the onset of dementia.

“We really need to begin studying what the exact mechanism is. And we need to begin studying whether hearing aids could have an effect on the onset of dementia.”

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Promotion with the Nu-Ear LOOK Premier!

 Buy one aid and get the 2nd one half off!

 LOOK hearing aids are designed to receive TV, radio and stereo sound directly to your hearings aids wirelessly! If you’re having issues with these devices the LOOK can help you feel more comfortable. This product has the ability to adjust the output from the aids independantly from the TV, radio or stereo.  By doing so this makes listening clearer, sharper, and better for you and more comfortable for your family. You also have the ability to use a remote control with these aids, making it easy to control volumes and change  programs within the hearing device. With the advanced feedback management technology and speech intelligibility enhancer, these hearing aids are worth taking a LOOK at !

LOOK’s advanced features are engineered to:

  •    Reduce listening effort in noisy environments
  •    Improve listening to music and TV
  •    Help phone calls sound better
  •    Not whistle or buzz
  •    Fit comfortably, customized for your ears.

For more information please don’t hesitate to call or book in an evaluation and consultation.

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Born with two, use the two! At Robillard Hearing Centres we suggest the use of binaural amplification over the use of monaural amplification. Like using glasses instead of a monocle to correct your eyes. Using two hearing aids instead of a single aid will help maintain the natural use and function of both ears working together.

When sound is directed into the canal, hitting the eardrum, exciting your auditory nerve, your brain is able to process and understand where the sound is coming from. If you have the same hearing loss in both ears but only amplify one side, you’re not able to stimulate both nerves; therefore, not allowing your brain to comprehend the direction of signal.

 If you only corrected one eye, you would find depth an issue. If you only stimulated one ear, you would have difficulty with localization of different sounds. Another risk of stimulating one ear over two is loss in neural stimulation between the brain and ear, what we call auditory deprivation. By amplifying only one side, when two ears have a hearing loss, the non-amplified ear will become lazy and over time harder to fit with prescribed amplification.  A monaural fitting is less effective with speech in noise, communication between ears, and balance between the ears; this is due to auditory deprivation.

Another benefit would be increasing speech understanding/ intelligibility. When wearing two aids versus one, you would notice wearing two aids results in clearer speech with average listening situations. When using two ears with proper amplification, clients will also notice about 10dB more in natural volume. If we speak at about 55dB, while ambient room noise is 40dB, 10dB is a significant difference. Balance is key for a fuller sound and proper neural stimulation.

We carry a variety of hearing aids that suit binaural use, working together to create a comfortable amplified sound for those in need. Please contact our offices with any questions or for more information.

 Cat Kasko


Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Use it or lose it! Like going to the gym and working on a certain muscle to gain strength, hearing is quite similar. We have approximately 3500 tiny hair cells situated in one inner row and 13,500 hair cells in three to four outer rows within our main organ of hearing (Organ of Corti). Without stimulation, these cells get lazy and die off. Unlike muscle stimulation, these cells will not grow back. Prolonging the use of your good hair cell activity for hearing requires strength training and stimulation. If a hearing loss is present and is ignored, you’re risking the positive activity from those remaining good hair cells. Our specialized tests help us understand what parts of your hearing organ need stimulation, and are able to benefit from prescribed hearing amplification systems.

Cat Kasko