Hearing Loss and Mental Decline

Did you know that hearing loss can be linked to a mental decline in patients if it goes
untreated? The hairs in the cochlea and the brain are going into overtime in order to
hear and translate sounds. Going into overtime may be great for a football team down
by six points, but not for someone with a hearing problem. The brain gets extremely
overwhelmed by this overdrive and can become more vulnerable to cognitive decline.
Hearing loss has also been known to worsen the symptoms of dementia.

 

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Some of these symptoms include:

  • Impaired Memory
  • Decreased Alertness
  • Inability to Learn New Skills
  • Increased Fatigue

 

Social Isolation
People who suffer from impaired hearing may also experience social isolation. Every day social interactions such as meeting new people can cause anxiety. People with hearing loss may opt to avoid these situations and simply stay home where they are most comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, many solo activities such as gardening and reading books are quite enjoyable, but not when it is holding you back from social interaction. Our brains need “exercise” and the mental stimulation that comes along with social interaction. Not enough “exercise” can lead to a decline in cognitive thinking and an increased risk of dementia. One more reason why as we age, it is critical to protect your hearing and get regular screenings. Hearing aids not only help you hear, but can also improve your overall quality of life.

How to Keep Your Ears Happy While Listening to Music

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Since the innovation of portable music devices, the use of earbuds has been on the rise. With these tiny speakers jammed into our ears, hearing loss has become more prevalent. Despite the risks, we all continue to use them whether we are out for a jog, or passing the time on a long road trip. Here are some ways to protect your hearing while listening to music: 

 

Do not exceed over 60-75% maximum volume

A way to gage this is, if you are unable to hear what’s going on around you, chances are you’re exceeding a safe volume!

Go by the 60/10 Rule

For every 60 minutes of listening time, give your ears a 10 minute rest, at minimum.

Switch!

Instead of using earbuds that are shoved in close to your ear canal, try switching to headphones that simply rest over your ears like earmuffs. Headphones will keep your ears protected and less susceptible to hearing loss.

Turn it down

Simple as that! As hard as it may be to resist turning up the volume when your favorite song comes on, try your best to keep it at a safe level. It will only benefit you in the long run!

Remember, be smart and keep the volume at a minimum. If someone close by can hear your music, then it’s probably too loud. Your ears will thank you later!

Tips to Make Your Child More Comfortable in the Classroom

If you know that your child is having a difficult time in the classroom due to hearing loss, early intervention is key. They may be struggling to learn grammar, word order or vocabulary, and the last thing you want is your child falling behind. By law, your child is entitled to assistive tools to aid them in the classroom. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IEP (Individualized Education Plan) allows access to the best possible education for children with any type of disability, even silent ones. They can be provided with speech language therapy, or simply more assistance in the classroom from their teacher.

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Know Your Child's Needs

 Reinforcing communication strategies in the classroom is critical in order to ensure success and correct learning development. Talk with your child’s teachers to create a game plan on how to better the learning outcomes for your child. After the plan is created and carried out, observe and see if your child is benefitting and making good progress. 

Tips:

  • Have your child sit in the front of the room – This way they are as close as possible to the source of sound and knowledge, their teacher.
  • Ensure that when the teacher is talking to the student, they are facing them and making direct eye contact.
  • Implement a FM System or Hearing Amplification System in the classroom – These are microphones worn by the teacher which then can be wirelesslyconnected to the child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant, allowing them direct signal from the teacher.
  • When watching a movie/film in class, request closed captioning for your child so if they are unable to hear, they can read the words.

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