TINNITUS – THE END OF QUIET MOMENTS?

Tinnitus is the perception of sounds that have no external source. The severity of tinnitus varies from an occasional awareness of ringing, hissing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, or other rough sounds in one or both ears, to an unbearable and incessant noise that drives some people to consider suicide. Tinnitus isn’t a “phantom sound” or “condition” — it’s a symptom of an underlying medical problem, such as noise trauma, age-related hearing loss, ear injury, or disease of the circulatory system. Tinnitus is relatively common, but in rare cases it can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, such as a …

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Pacific Northwest Audiology Celebrated Their Open House in Bend Oregon

The Open House was held on October 20, from 10 am – 2 pm at our new custom hearing center at the Shevlin Health and Wellness Center, located at 2205 NW Shevlin Park Rd. in Bend OR. Around 70 people came to celebrate with us and to see what has already been heralded as one of the most forward thinking audiology clinics in the United States!  Pacific Northwest Audiology designed this clinic from the ground up. In addition to diagnostic, clinical, and hearing aid services, we established The Hearing Innovations Center to demonstrate the leading edge of hearing enhancement technologies. Energized by our new Hearing Innovations Center …

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Hearing Aids Improve Brain Function

A new study, “The benefit of amplification on auditory working memory function in middle-aged and young-older hearing impaired adults,” by Jamie Desjardins, PhD, an assistant professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Program at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), found that hearing aids improve brain function in mature adults with hearing loss. Previous Studies Previous studies have shown that untreated hearing loss is associated with serious emotional, medical, and social consequences, including unnatural mental decline and dementia. These disabilities often result in reduced job performance, lower income, and a generally diminished quality of life. Declining cognitive function is also associated with a loss of auditory working memory, the ability …

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Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 2

In Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 1, we introduced corporate and professional business models for hearing health care, and indicated that the level of professional service you receive is linked directly to the business model of the hearing care provider you choose.  Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 2 details the vastly different academic and knowledge requirements for audiologists vs. hearing aid dispensers, and how these differences dictate the legal responsibilities available to each group. It should be noted that audiologists fit hearing aids just like dispensers, but they can legally do much more for your hearing health, whereas dispensers are fundamentally permitted to …

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Patient-Centered Hearing-Health Care vs. Sales-Centered Hearing Care

The Bottom Line The following table compares the professional business model, represented by doctor-level audiologist such as those working at Pacific Northwest Audiology, and the corporate business model, represented by “Big Box”, manufacturing, and franchise retailers. The bottom line is that when you select a hearing care provider you also accept their business model…and the consequences of that model. You can choose patient-centered hearing-health care by a Doctor of Audiology, or volume sales-centered care by a technician. Given the increasing evidence linking medical, emotional, and social consequences to hearing loss, we hope the table guides you to your best choice for a hearing …

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Hearing Aids Can Prevent Mental Decline

An increasing number of research efforts are linking untreated hearing loss to thinking and memory problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Many of these studies indicate that hearing aids should be used as early as hearing loss symptoms can be verified, but evidence supporting hearing aids as a preventive therapy have been largely theoretical. That has changed recently, with new research just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by researchers at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux France. The study followed 3,670 adults, age 65 and older over a 25-year period. The …

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Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia

A Cautionary Tale Mounting evidence has established a  strong link between untreated hearing loss and diminished cognitive function, including dementia. Studies also link untreated hearing loss to other medical and emotional problems, including depression. This is a cautionary tale, but a light shines brightly to guide our passage away from danger: Hearing Loss Can End Badly—but we have options! First, the bad news. Mounting evidence has established a strong link between untreated hearing loss (HL) and diminished cognitive function, accelerated mental decline, rapid rates of brain tissue loss, and other disabling conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. People who don’t hear well tend …

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Noise-induced Hearing Loss

When Noise Hurts Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is irreversible hearing damage resulting from exposure to high levels of noise. NIHL affects an estimated 10 to 15 million people in the USA, making excessive noise exposure the most common cause of hearing loss. What causes NIHL? Exposure to traumatic noise will cause permanent damage to the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear and possibly the hearing nerve. NIHL is related to both noise intensity and the duration of exposure. Louder sounds require shorter exposures before damage occurs. Why? Because a 10 dB increase in sound level causes a 10 …

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Tinnitus: The End of Quiet Moments

Tinnitus is the perception of sounds that have no external source. The severity of tinnitus varies from an occasional awareness of a noise (ringing, hissing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, or rough sounds) in one or both ears, to an unbearable and incessant sound that causes a variety of psychological stresses. Tinnitus isn’t a “phantom sound” or a single disease, but a symptom that can be associated with many causes and made worse by other factors. Tinnitus is relatively common, but in rare cases it can be a symptom of serious disease such as vascular tumor or acoustic neuroma (a benign, usually …

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Untreated Hearing Loss

The consequences can be severe but treatment offers hope! Untreated hearing loss has been linked to disabling medical conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Studies and observational evidence indicate that untreated hearing loss can damage your physical, emotional, and social health and well being. Your family, friends, and others will not escape these changes. In a very real sense they will share the unwanted consequences of your hearing loss. The good news is that the worst effects of hearing loss can be moderated with hearing aids, cochlear implants and post-fitting rehabilitation. When people with mild-to-profound hearing …

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