Hear In Texas

The Link Between Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline Off Hearing Tests

There are several theories about why hearing loss and cognitive decline go hand-in-hand. Four classifications established by the American Academy of Neurology identify the different reasons why hearing loss can lead to dementia.

01. Common Risk Factors

The largest common risk factors are age combined with high blood pressure, heart disease, and/or diabetes, which often accompany hearing loss. The narrowing of blood vessels, which impacts the network of small blood vessels feeding the cochlea, is common with these conditions.

02. Mental Overload

When hearing loss is left untreated, the central auditory pathways become overloaded with the increasingly difficult task of conducting, analyzing, and processing sound signals. Other parts of the brain, like those involved in thinking and memory, pitch in order to compensate, redirecting resources used for those purposes to help with hearing rather than cognitive functions.

03. Structural Changes

As sound stimulation from hearing loss declines, areas of the brain used for sound processing begin to atrophy or shrink.

04. Social Isolation

Many people experiencing hearing loss begin to avoid social events or avoid social gatherings due to the stress and discomfort of struggling to keep up with conversations in noisy settings. University of British Columbia researchers report that for every 10-decibel drop in hearing, there is a subsequent increase in social isolation by 52%.
Dr. Sally Miranda, Au.D.

What Is Cognitive Screening, And Why Is It Important?

A University of Bordeaux study published in 2018 identified a significant connection between self-reported hearing loss and dementia. The study showed that the cases of disabilities, dementia, and depression among elderly men with elevated hearing loss continued to increase, but those using hearing aids or with no diagnosed hearing impairment saw little to no cognitive decline.

This study supports our concern that a failure to address hearing has a significant impact on cognitive decline and puts our patients at risk for early-onset dementia. Hear in Texas includes cognitive testing using ClarityTM by Cognivue as one of our services in order to help our patients identify and manage cognitive decline as well as for developing the right hearing care plan and hearing aid selection.

How Does Cognitive Screening Work?

ClarityTM by Cognivue provides a personalized, consistent, and reliable assessment of your overall brain health. The test establishes a baseline score against which you and your doctor can monitor and detect cognitive changes as they develop.

Features of Clarity’sTM include:

  • Quick assessment (about 10 minutes)
  • Non-invasive
  • Interactive and intuitive
  • Self-administered
  • Immediate results after testing
  • Easy to understand results
  • Secure and confidential

These FDA approved tests eliminate testing variability and inaccuracy through a unique software algorithm designed to use patient responses in order to adapt the test to the patient’s performance.

What Cognitive Screening Results
Show

Cognitive testing results provide an outline for you and your doctor to evaluate the various conditions that contribute to cognitive decline, such as hearing loss, enabling you to establish a plan of action to limit continuing decline. Results from testing are separated into three different categories:

 

  • Scores over 75 show normal cognitive function.
  • Scores between 51 and 74 reveal some or low cognitive impairment requiring some minor interventions.
  • Scores 50 and below indicate significant cognitive impairment for which you need to take urgent action to prevent further damage.
Cognitive screening test at Hear in Texas

Schedule A Cognitive Screening At Hear in Texas

Many of the patients we see in our clinic have put off addressing their hearing loss for some time, which could mean that they are beginning to experience some degree of cognitive decline by the time we conduct our hearing assessment.

As a part of our commitment to our patients and the New Braunfels community, Hear in Texas offers cognitive screening in order to identify and head off cognitive decline and dementia.

If you, or a loved one, is struggling with recall, making decisions, organizing tasks, losing your sense of direction or other issues related to cognitive decline, especially if you’re also experiencing hearing loss, contact us to schedule cognitive screening by submitting the adjacent form.

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