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Find a doctor at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center or Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. Everything from genes and noise exposure to medications, head injuries and infections can play a role in hearing loss.
Although nearly 27 million Americans age 50 and older have hearing loss, only one in seven uses a hearing aid.
There is a breaking-in period as you—and your central auditory system and brain—adjust to life with hearing aids. At present, very few states require health insurers to cover the cost of hearing aids for people of all ages. Dementia (di-men-sha): A loss of brain function that can be caused by a variety of disorders affecting the brain. Cochlear (koe-klee-er) implant: A device implanted into the inner ear to stimulate the auditory (hearing) nerve. Learning to handle your emotions and those of a loved one with dementia can be anything but straightforward. An occasional memory slip is normal, but how can you tell if it may be something more serious?
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Trouble detecting soft or high-pitched sounds is often the first sign that stereocilia —the delicate hair cells that convert sound waves into electrical signals within the ear—have been damaged.
But recent research from Johns Hopkins reveals that it also is linked with walking problems, falls and even dementia.
Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.
If you think your hearing has diminished, it’s worth making an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing check, Lin says. But during that time, communication with loved ones becomes more difficult, and isolation and health risks increase. Plenty of people with a hearing impairment sit silently rather than joining in conversations and activities, because they fear that hearing problems will make them seem helpless or less than competent. Today’s hearing aids and cochlear implants are smaller (and less conspicuous) than ever before.
That’s why most doctors and hearing centers include a trial period, so you can be sure the type you’ve chosen—whether it’s a miniature behind-the-ear model or one that fits into your ear—is right for you. People who are socially isolated have little day-to-day contact with others, have few fulfilling relationships and lack a sense of belonging. Symptoms include forgetfulness, impaired thinking and judgment, personality changes, agitation and loss of emotional control.

It’s used to help restore sound perception in children and adults with profound hearing loss.
Soft sounds include phone conversations or background noise in settings such as restaurants. The truth: Connecting with others can help your brain stay younger and keep you involved with life.
Even celebrities (like former president Bill Clinton and football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary) are wearing them proudly. At an average price of $1,675 per ear for equipment, fittings and evaluations, hearing aids can take a bite out of your budget. Social isolation can increase the risk for poor eating, smoking, alcohol use, lack of exercise, depression, dementia, poor sleep and heart disease. Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and inadequate blood flow to the brain can all cause dementia.

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