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Importance of early adoption of hearing aids

What’s going on between your ears when you’re losing your hearing? Emerging research is beginning to give us some revealing, and disturbing answers about brain function and hearing loss. But it also offers some hope.

Looking at brain scan images, we can see the brain of a person with normal hearing, with the areas that process sound are lit up as they should be. When we look at the brain of a person with mild hearing loss, we can see there’s less activity and what there is has shifted to other areas.

Professor Anu Sharma at the University of Colorado produces such images using EEG technology as part of a major study of how the brain reorganizes itself in response to hearing loss, and what the consequences of those changes are.

In a nutshell, the bits of your brain that process high frequency sound, for example, find themselves with less and less to do as your ears gradually lose the ability to process and deliver those signals. As a result, your brain puts them to work on something else. That’s the basic principle behind neuroplasticity.

“We find that this kind of compensatory adaptation may significantly decrease the brain’s available resources for processing sound”, says Sharma. In other words, use it or lose it.

That’s a powerful argument to get hearing aids sooner rather than later, in order to keep those signals coming and the associated areas of your brain functioning normally. And Professor Sharma offers another more ominous reason.

“Compensatory brain reorganization secondary to hearing loss may also be a factor in explaining recent reports in the literature that show age-related hearing loss is significantly correlated with dementia.”

Being deaf is bad enough but the prospect of being deaf and demented should have you running to an audiologist.

In fact, one recent study at the University of Bordeaux showed that there was no difference in the rate of cognitive decline in people who used hearing aids compared to a control group who had normal hearing.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of loss, don’t delay. Get in touch online today or call 01223 661399.

    What type of appointment do you need?

    If you’re concerned that you may be suffering with hearing loss or troublesome earwax, start by taking our quick and easy quiz. By answering a few simple questions, we’ll be able to understand more about your hearing and advise on the next steps to take. You’ll be on the road to better hearing in less than five minutes.

    What type of appointment do you need?

    Do you currently wear a hearing aid?

    Have you been told previously you have hearing loss?

    Do family members or friends complain the TV or radio is too loud?

    Do you struggle following people speaking in noisy situations?

    Do you have to ask people to repeat themselves?

    Do you hear a ringing or a humming noise?

    Do you worry your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be?

    Full diagnostic assessment - £80*

    The full 1.5 hour diagnostic assessment is nonobtrusive and pain-free. It will thoroughly assess all the components of your hearing pathway from your outer ear, through your middle and inner ear and the auditory processing centre of your brain.
    *redeemable against the purchase of hearing instruments.

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    We offer a free 30 minute hearing test/ear health check to see what might be causing the symptoms you are experiencing. This check may result in an additional appointment to resolve or investigate further, or we can advise accordingly.

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    If you have any other symptoms of hearing loss, contact us to discuss your concerns.

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    Has your GP surgery confirmed you have excess earwax?

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    Have you experienced any of the following symptoms? Earache, itchy ear or a blocked feeling in your ears?

    Do you feel your hearing has recently changed?

    Do you hear a ringing or a humming noise?

    Do your ears block when you shower or go swimming?

    Earwax Removal

    Our audiologists are ENT- trained to offer safe and effective endoscopic earwax removal. Once the wax is removed, there is often instant relief from the symptoms you have been experiencing.

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    FREE Ear Health Check

    We offer a free 15 minute ear health check to see what might be causing the symptoms you are experiencing. This check may result in an additional appointment to resolve or investigate further, or we can advise accordingly.

    Book appointmentStart again

    or call 01223 661399 to arrange an appointment

    If you have any other symptoms of hearing loss, contact us to discuss your concerns.

    Book appointmentStart again

    or call 01223 661399 to arrange an appointment

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