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Hearing Loss Linked to Brain Atrophy in Older Adults

A study published in August 2011 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania showed that declines in hearing ability may accelerate gray matter atrophy in auditory areas of the brain and increase the listening effort necessary for older adults to successfully comprehend speech. The results hint at even greater benefits from hearing aids than simply improving hearing.

Hearing Aids May Help

 

"As hearing ability declines with age, interventions such as hearing aids should be considered not only to improve hearing but to preserve the brain," said lead author Jonathan Peelle, PhD. "People hear differently, and those with even moderate hearing loss may have to work harder to understand complex sentences."

In the studies, researchers measured the relationship of hearing acuity to the brain, first measuring the brain's response to increasingly complex sentences and then measuring cortical brain volume in auditory cortex. Older adults (60-77 years of age) with normal hearing for their age were evaluated to determine whether normal variations in hearing ability impacted the structure or function of the network of areas in the brain supporting speech comprehension.

The studies found that people with hearing loss showed less brain activity on functional MRI scans when listening to complex sentences. Poorer hearers also had less gray matter in the auditory cortex, suggesting that areas of the brain related to auditory processing may show accelerated atrophy when hearing ability declines.

 

Be Careful with that iPod

In general, research suggests that hearing sensitivity has cascading consequences for the neural processes supporting both perception and cognition. Although the research was conducted in older adults, the findings also have implications for younger adults, including those concerned about listening to music at loud volumes. "Your hearing ability directly affects how the brain processes sounds, including speech," says Dr. Peelle. "Preserving your hearing doesn't only protect your ears, but also helps your brain perform at its best."

The research appears in the latest edition of The Journal of Neuroscience and was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The original press release appeared at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2011/08/mild-hearing/ and the full article is available here: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/31/35/12638.full.pdf+html


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The X-Series Models

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  • ? This is the number of frequency bands we use to program your hearing aids to the results of your hearing test. The hearing aid then uses these bands to re-build sound to meet the needs of your hearing loss. The greater the number of bands, the better the sound quality delivered to you.
    Programable bands/channels

  • ? Our comprehensive warranty covers any manufacturer defects including free replacement of rechargeable batteries and receivers as well as half price one-time loss and irreparable damage replacement. In addition, during the warranty, there is no charge for reprogramming or adjustments.
    Warranty (and Loss Insurance)

  • ? Connects directly to your smartphone (or other Android or Apple device). Two way streaming enables completely hands free calls. Add our TV Connector for direct streaming from your TV so you can adjust your TV volume without affecting the sound for others.
    Bluetooth for completeley hands-free calls

  • ? Although the software on these hearings makes adjustments seldom necessary, it is possible to change the volume and some manual settings using either the free smartphone App or the buttons on the aids. An optional hand held remote is also available.
    Volume and Program Control

  • ? We offer a choice of disposable 312 battery or lithium ion rechargeable battery on some models. The rechargeable battery will perform for up to 24 hours after a 3 hour charge. The disposable batteries will last 3-7 days depending on hours of use, level of hearing loss and amount of Bluetooth streaming. A year’s supply of size 312 batteries currently costs about $30/year/aid.
    Power Source

  • ? The hearing aid's software automatically identifies and adjusts to changes in your sound environment (e.g. From a quiet car to a noisy restaurant) so no manual adjustments are needed.
    Automatically adjusts to your environment

  • ? This is the best technology for group situations. It provides optimal speech understanding from all directions by dynamically scanning your environment to focus on the active speaker in your immediate vicinity.
    LiveSpeechFocus

  • ? While most people find that the restoration of high frequency hearing through the use of properly programmed hearing aids significantly improves tinnitus symptoms, there is more we can do. All of our hearing aids come with a tinnitus management program. This is not a cure but it can further help alleviate tinnitus symptoms through the use of a self-adjustable 'white noise' sound in the background.
    Tinnitus Manager Program

  • ? BiCROS hearing aid progamming is for people who have unaidable hearing loss in one ear but have some level of hearing in the other. You would wear hearing aids on both ears. We program them so a microphone picks up sounds from the weak ear and transmits them to wirelessly to the ear with better hearing.
    BiCROS programming

  • ? REMOTE PROGRAMMING - With the X-550 and X-950 models, we can make adjustments to you hearing aids remotely. You would explain the issue to our Audiologists and the new program would be uploaded to your hearing aids automatically (via Bluetooth).
    Remote Programming

  • ? TELECOIL - The telecoil is also known as a T-coil, or T-switch. When activated, the telecoil permits the transmission of sound from a "Hearing Loop" sometimes found in public spaces and theaters. If you require this feature, please call us for details at (888) 929-9555.
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The C-Series Models

Vs
  • Compare to:

  • Our price per ear/pair:

  • ? This is the number of frequency bands we use to program your hearing aids to the results of your hearing test. The hearing aid then uses these bands to re-build sound to meet the needs of your hearing loss. The greater the number of bands, the more natural the sound and the better the performance in more challenging situations, like restaurants.
    Programable bands/channels

  • ? Our comprehensive warranty covers any manufacturer defects including free replacement of rechargeable batteries and receivers as well as half price one-time loss and irreparable damage replacement. In addition, during the warranty, there is no charge for reprogramming or adjustments.
    Warranty (and Loss Insurance)

  • ? Although the software on these hearings makes adjustments seldom necessary, it is possible to change the volume and some manual settings using the Android/Apple smartphone App or optional hand held remote.
    Volume and Program Control

  • ? The disposable size 10 batteries on these hearing aids will last about 4-6 days depending on hours of use and level of hearing loss. A year’s supply of size 10 batteries currently costs about $30/year/aid.
    Power Source

  • ? The hearing aid's software automatically identifies and adjusts to changes in your sound environment (e.g. From a quiet car to a noisy restaurant) so no manual adjustments are needed.
    Automatically adjusts to your environment

  • ? This is the best technology for group situations. It provides optimal speech understanding from all directions by dynamically scanning your environment to focus on the active speaker in your immediate vicinity.
    LiveSpeechFocus

  • ? While most people find that the restoration of high frequency hearing through the use of properly programmed hearing aids significantly improves tinnitus symptoms, there is more we can do. All of our hearing aids come with a tinnitus management program. This is not a cure but it can further help alleviate tinnitus symptoms through the use of a self-adjustable 'white noise' sound in the background.
    Tinnitus Manager Program

  • ? BiCROS hearing aids are designed for people who have unaidable hearing loss in one ear but have some level of hearing in the other. You would wear hearing aids on both ears. A microphone picks up sounds from the weak ear and transmits it to wirelessly to the ear with better hearing
    BiCROS programming

  • ? With the C-540 and C-940 models, we can make adjustments to you hearing aids remotely. You would explain the issue to our Audiologists and the new program would be uploaded to your hearing aids automatically.
    Remote programming and adjustments

  • Telecoil

  • Colors

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