Archive for May 2016
Brain hearing technology is revolutionizing the way people make sense of sound. That’s why Nu-Life Hearing Centre is so enthusiastic about being at the forefront to introduce it to our clients. Nu-Life Hearing Centre is dedicated to bringing the medical aspect back into our audiology industry by focusing on our unique and structured rehabilitation program, including; hearing instrument prescription, verification, brain fitness and client centred care. Numerous studies have now found a strong correlation with hearing loss and risk of cognitive decline. According to Dr. Frank Lin and his colleagues at John Hopkins University, hearing loss has also shown a link between the severity of hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. A related study completed by the same team found that older adults with hearing loss were far more likely to experience problems with thinking and memory than individuals with normal hearing. This indicated that "hearing loss should not
be considered an inconsequential part of aging. It may come with some long-term consequences to healthy brain functioning.”
Therefore; unaddressed hearing loss not only affects the listener’s ability to “hear” the sound accurately, but it also affects a person’s cognitive function. Even more specifically, it interferes with the listener’s ability to accurately process the auditory information and make sense of it.
If you don’t use it, You Lose it
With a hearing loss, we are now lacking the auditory stimulation necessary to help understand conversation, recall auditory memories and process speech. Therefore; after years of unaddressed hearing loss, we can hypothesize that this may be a direct effect of cognitive decline. We simply don’t engage and stimulate our brain as we did without a hearing loss.
Let’s use language for an example. In my own experience, I was fluent in French growing up as I attended French emersion from age 4 until age 13. I spoke in French at school, with my siblings, and even friends. After the age of 13, I did not continue speaking the French language as I was no longer in French emersion. Now after 20 years of not engaging in French conversation, it is extremely broken and difficult for me to understand and speak the language.
This is very similar to the effects of having a hearing loss. Over a long period of time without auditory stimulation our ability to hear and understand speech is compromised. The Temporal Lobe within our brain that is involved in auditory perception eventually re-wires itself to focus on other motor skills (such as vision). We no longer use this part of the brain as it once was used for auditory perception and is also attributed to gray matter atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain.
What is Brain Hearing?
Most people think of hearing as something that just happens in your ears. What people don’t think about is what happens between their ears, in the hearing centre of their brain. That’s where sound becomes information that the brain must interpret, and there’s a lot of different ways this information can get misunderstood and affect hearing.
With so much of your hearing happening inside the brain, it’s important that hearing care focuses on supporting the brain as much as the ears. This is where Brain Hearing comes in. It preserves the important details in speech, so your brain doesn’t have to fill in the gaps, and reduces the effort involved in listening to conversations.
Brain hearing also enables your hearing instruments to work together as a system to help locate sound and focus on what is important, helping your brain interpret sound with the clearest, purest signal.
Learning to Hear Again (rehabilitation)
When an unaddressed hearing loss is delayed without amplification of a hearing aid, it becomes increasingly difficult even with a hearing aid to be able to transform the incoming sound signals into understandable information. This means that the brain no longer recognizes ordinary everyday sounds and noises and must learn to hear them all over again. Nu-Life Hearing Centre is excited to announce that together with Neurologists and other Physicians, we have created our own rehabilitation program that will be put into trial very soon. We theorize that our innovative and proprietary rehabilitation program that we call “Brain Fitness” will encompass a unique strategy to help improve the ability to perceive amplified speech. We believe that our rehabilitation plan will also engage cognitive processes through active auditory listening exercises as well as sharpen the auditory cortex to help people think faster, focus better and remember more.
If you are interested in more information please contact Nu-Life Hearing Centre today at 905-697-3838.