Hearing loss affects more than just your ability to listen; it affects your ability to live the way you want

Are Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline Related?

by | Jun 18, 2022 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

Our hearing is more important to everyday life than we’d like to admit. As one of our most prized senses, we always encourage the residents of New Braunfels to do everything they can to protect their hearing and ensure it’s in good health.

Recently, studies have shown that hearing profoundly affects our cognitive skills, which gives us even more cause to stay focused on helping people achieve healthy hearing.

Medical News Today reports that the chances of developing a cognitive issue are far greater with prolonged hearing loss. Many people think they can live with hearing loss and just get used to it. Unfortunately, that’s not how the brain works.

If your decline is identified early, we have procedures that can slow the progress and manage your hearing loss but only if caught early on. We’re always searching for new ways to identify emerging issues within our patients and cognitive screening is the future.

What is Cognitive Screening?

This is an assessment that gives us insight into how your cognitive functions are performing and how your brain processes the information that your ears send.

This is an FDA-cleared test done on a computer and has been researched for over 15 years. This procedure is highly respected in the medical community.

The assessment focuses on six separate areas of the brain:

  • Language — Tracking letter and word perception through naming
  • Memory — Testing letter and word retention accuracy
  • Visuospatial — Monitoring general motor skills and noting visual acuity
  • Delayed Recall — Testing motion and shape memory
  • Motor Perception —Tracking your executive function and how well you pay attention
  • Abstraction — Being able to think about and follow abstract thought

Cognitive screening also measures your physical reaction time and speed at processing what is said or happening.

Cognitive screening is an NFL combine, but for your brain. We want to know as much about how it functions as possible so we can spot any irregularities right away.

[Get the Facts About Your Cognitive Condition by Scheduling a Screening Right Here

Why Would an Audiologist Perform a Medical Test on Your Brain? 

Since hearing loss can be caused by different things, we as audiologists need to have knowledge of many other medical conditions. 

These are conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, eye impairment, or medication side effects. Hearing loss can also be caused by a lack of exercise, poor sleeping habits, or a poor diet.

We always want to be the first to know when anything is affecting your hearing so we can address it immediately. This is part of our commitment to our community here in Texas. 

We use cognitive screening to aid us in identifying any underlying issues that may be creeping up. We are very thankful to have this testing capability as it gives us a real advantage in the fight against cognitive decline. 

Step-by-Step of a Cognitive Screening

  • This quick and easy test only takes 15 mins and is entirely self-administered. You can take your time and relax without the pressure of someone lingering over you. This setup allows the patient to relax quicker and, thus, get honest and accurate results from the test.  
  • As a digital test, there are some procedures to ensure accurate results every time. It starts with an introductory video that will explain how to complete the test. This gives you a chance to practice the types of tests you’ll be completing. 
  • Once you’re ready, the test begins and lasts about 10 mins. This is not a test with a keyboard or a list of right and wrong answers. There’s simply a wheel that you turn to select the picture you think makes the most sense to what is asked. 
  • Once complete, another video will instruct you on your next steps and how to get the results. 

That’s it. This simple procedure helps us determine the timeline of your hearing and cognitive status. We can discuss your options in great detail and find the perfect solution to your specific condition with this information.

Benefits of Getting a Cognitive Screening

  • Early screening can detect signs of cognitive decline that you and everyone around you might not have noticed yet.
  • The screening is private and completed only by you. Your comfort and relaxation are essential for this test.
  • Understand the scope of your hearing loss better because we can see all aspects that might be affecting it.
  • Administer further testing for anything we find and possibly refer you for treatment for other aspects of your health.

An annual cognitive assessment gives us an excellent view of your cognitive abilities. It allows us to monitor for any changes so we can adjust your hearing treatment to match

Why Hear in Texas Provides the Best Service in New Braunfels

It can be easy to miss the earliest signs of cognitive decline, but with our experience and dedication to helping our peers, you won’t be alone.

Book a Cognitive screening if you are concerned about this and see how we can help your hearing and overall cognitive health.

Contact us anytime at (830) 360-2000, and one of our professionals will be able to discuss your unique situation. 

We look forward to helping.

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Dr. Sally Miranda

Dr. Sally Miranda is a trusted audiologist that has dedicated most of her life to audiology and researching innovative ways to serve her patients. She has cared for thousands of ears and is recognized as a leading provider in the region.

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