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Few things scare me more than the thought of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline as I age. It’s not just the personal impact, but the impact on the people around me that causes concern.

In the end – the only thing we truly own are our memories.

Canadians and Dementia

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, as of 2016 there are an estimated 564,000 Canadians living with dementia. Some 60-70% of those cases are a result of Alzheimer’s and it’s estimated that there are additional 25,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Hearing Loss and The Link to Alzheimer’s And Dementia

Every year the links between cognitive decline and hearing loss are reinforced by new research. Recent research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was reported by the Washington Post to have analyzed data from five years of clinical tests of cognitive function to track volunteers’ progression to mild cognitive impairment. OF the people studied that reported and were subsequently diagnosed with hearing loss at the outset of the study we more likely to do poorly on future cognitive tests. They were found to be twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment.

A second study, performed over 10 years by Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging found that while the brain shrinks with age, this change is hastened in older adults with hearing loss.  Employing routine brain scans and hearing tests, Dr. Lin’s team measured 126 subjects brain tissue and found that those with hearing loss at the beginning of the study exhibited accelerated rates of brain atrophy when compared to the subjects who had normal hearing.

Ultimately, after reading several more studies the same conclusions appeared. Hearing loss accelerates physicals brain shrinkage and increase the incidence and severity of cognitive decline. So much so that some studies have indicated hearing loss may be a potential early indicator of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

What Can You Do?

The upshot of most studies indicated that early detection and treatment of hearing loss could mean better long-term mental performance, a lesser chance of Alzheimer’s and dementia developing, and overall better long-term health and wellness.

You see your doctor every year or two for a complete physical. So – why wouldn’t you get a hearing test on a regular basis? If it means reducing the likelihood of dementia you can count me in.

The best time to make an appointment for a hearing test is now.
Call the friendly staff at Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“The Apprehension Engine” is possibly the world’s most disturbing musical instrument. If you have ever wondered how horror movie makers create those creepy sounds, watch this video. Happy Halloween everyone!

How’s your hearing lately? To hear what you have been missing, make an appointment today for a full hearing evaluation by calling the Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

 

This fun video explains how our mind can misinterpret what we hear. Featured are several cool examples of how what you see while listening can influence your interpretation of what you are hearing.

From Wikipedia, “An auditory illusion is an illusion of hearing, the aural equivalent of an optical illusion: the listener hears either sounds which are not present in the stimulus, or “impossible” sounds.[1] In short, auditory illusions highlight areas where the human ear and brain, as organic survival tools, differ from perfect audio receptors (for better or for worse).” Interested in more types of auditory illusions? There are over a dozen auditory illusions are listed in the Wikipedia page.

Are you having trouble trusting what you hear lately? We can help. Make an appointment today for a full hearing evaluation by calling the Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

 

Bill Clinton

President Bill Clinton, President of the United States. Photo by: Bob McNeely

William Jefferson Clinton served as the 42nd president United States and was found to have high frequency hearing loss during a yearly physical exam. It is suspected that his advancing age and recreational activities, namely hunting, listening to loud music and playing in a band contributed to his hearing loss. Like most people with high-frequency hearing loss Clinton has difficulty following conversation with a lot of background noise. Political events and busy restaurants would be two situations where Clinton would have difficulty understanding speech. To help overcome his hearing loss he was fitted with “completely-in-canal” hearing aids that are essentially invisible.

As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Starkey Hearing Foundation pledged to fit more than 1 million hearing aids for people in the developing world by the year 2020.

William Shatner

Canadian actor William Shatner suffers from tinnitus. The condition is commonly defined as the hearing of sound (often described as a buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling) when no external sound is present. Famous for playing Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series, Shatner attributes the onset of his tinnitus to a special effects explosion that occurred on the set of Star Trek while filming the episode “Arena”.

William Shatner speaks about his tinnitus and the work that the American Tinnitus Association

Eric Clapton

Photo by Steve Proctor: Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden, May 1, 2015

Eric Clapton is the only artist to be inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame three times. Once as a solo artist and then as a member of the band Yardbirds and then again as a member of the power trio Cream. The legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter survived drug addiction and alcoholism to eventually found a facility for recovering substance abusers called the Crossroads Centre on the island of Antigua. Clapton suffers from tinnitus he believes was caused by his love of loud music in the recording studio and in concert.

When the engineer complained that his amp was too loud, Eric replied “That’s the way I play.”

When was you last hearing test?  Do you have symptoms of tinnitus?  We can help!  Make an appointment today for a full hearing evaluation. Call the Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The visualization of frequencies may be a bit “geeky”, but it’s also just plain cool!

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. – Nikola Tesla

Did you have any trouble hearing the highest frequencies in the video? If so it might be a good idea to make an appointment for a hearing test and evaluation. Call the Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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