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A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins, analyzing data from 1,140 men and women aged 70 and older with hearing loss and 529 with normal hearing, found that those with hearing deficits were significantly more likely to have experienced hospitalizations, prolonged periods of physical illness or injury, and extended episodes of stress, depression or bad mood than those with normal hearing. The new study was published on June 11, 2013 in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.
As many as 27 million Americans over age 50, including two-thirds of men and women aged 70 years and older, suffer from some form of hearing loss, according to Frank R. The association of hearing loss with health care use and other health economic outcomes, had previously not been studied, according to the study authors. All study participants had volunteered to have their hearing tested over a four-year period, as part of the larger, ongoing NHANES study. The purpose of the analysis was to investigate the extent of association between hearing loss and hospitalization and other physical and mental disease in a nationally representative study of adults 70 years of age or older.
In the study, hearing was defined using World Health Organization criteria, and measured using air-conduction pure-tone audiometry, according to established NHANES protocols. The researchers gathered data on hospitalizations during the previous 12 months and on diseases experienced during the previous 30 days through computer-assisted or interviewer-administered questionnaires. The authors found that the older adults with hearing loss were 32 percent more likely to have been admitted to a hospital, 36 percent more likely to have prolonged stretches of illness or injury (lasting more than 10 days), and 57 percent more likely to have deep episodes of stress, depression or bad mood (for more than 10 days) than the 529 older adults with normal hearing, according to the Johns Hopkins release about the study. Funding support for the newly published study and the NHANES study was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Eleanor Schwartz Charitable Foundation, and a Triological Society and American College of Surgeons Clinician-Scientist Award, according to Johns Hopkins. Few people, however, consider the unseen benefits of treating hearing loss:  particularly how it affects your brain. Before we dive too deeply into the ways treating hearing loss can benefit your brain, it is important to make clear the impact hearing loss has upon the brain.
When our hearing organs (the ears, and the smaller parts that make them up) do not function as fully as they normally do (hearing loss), our brains are forced to regroup. The connection our hears have with our brains is reason enough to make annual hearing exams a priority.
When you think of these benefits of treating hearing loss, it is an easy decision to make your hearing health a priority. Cornerstone Audiology serves Lubbock, TX and its surrounding areas as a hearing aid provider with two certified audiologists and was recently named Best Hearing Aid Provider for Best of the West 2015.  Our team offers compassionate, skilled care to help you find the hearing aids that best meets your needs.

Sensorineural hearing loss describes what happens when the sound pathway that moves sound from the inner organ of hearing (cochlea) along the auditory nerve to the brain is damaged. When the structures of the outer or middle ear fail to conduct sound waves to the inner ear properly, the result is conductive hearing loss.
Central hearing loss is a rare type of hearing loss that results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself. The ear is an amazing and complex organ comprising three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. The middle ear is an air-filled cavity, which contains the smallest bones in the human body - the malleus, incus and stapes. In the inner ear the auditory input is processed by the cochlea, while information affecting balance is processed by the semicircular canals. The audiogram to the left represents the hearing of an individual with normal hearing in the low frequencies (pitch) sloping to a severe high frequency hearing loss in the left ear and a moderate to severe hearing loss in the right ear. If we now superimpose the normal speech area on the audiogram, we can obtain some information regarding this individual's ability to hear speech. Lin and his team are working on further research to see if treating hearing loss with counseling and hearing aids can reduce people’s risk of cognitive decline and dementia, according to the Johns Hopkins release.
To learn more about how we can help with your hearing loss or tinnitus, contact us for a free consultation. This type of loss may be temporary and may be reversed through surgery or other medical means. Our hearing ability worsens from our 30s or 40s and onwards and almost half of people over the age of 50 have difficulties understanding speech in noisy situations.
These are connected to the eardrum on one side, and on the other side to a thin membrane-covered opening on the wall of the inner ear, the Oval Window. The 125 Hertz (Hz) vertical line on the left side of the audiogram represents a very low pitch sound and each vertical line to the right represents a higher pitch sound. For example, point A on the audiogram to the left represents a soft low-pitch sound and point B represents a soft high-pitch sound. The blue X's indicate the thresholds for the left ear and the red O's indicate the thresholds for the right ear.

Speech reading training, speech therapy and counseling may be required to help achieve successful communication strategies. Generally there are two categories of hearing loss depending on the area of the ear affected.
Causes include ear infections, injury to the ear, such as a punctured eardrum, or even a build-up of wax in the ear canal. The auricle helps to gather the sound waves, and the auditory canal then directs them to the eardrum. The middle ear is also connected to the throat via the Eustachian tube which keeps the air pressure in the middle ear equalized.
The hair cells are bent when the fluid is displaced by sound waves passed on by the middle ear bones. The audiogram to the left demonstrates different sounds and where they would be represented on an audiogram.
Moving from left to right on the audiogram would be consistent with moving from left to right on a piano keyboard.
Because children are prone to ear infections, it's important to have their hearing checked frequently and to be aware of the signs of hearing loss. The yellow, banana-shaped figure represents all the sounds that make up the human voice when speaking at normal conversational levels.
Moving from the top to the bottom would be consistent with hitting the piano key harder or turning up the volume control on your stereo.
This person would rely on the left ear for speech understanding and would probably experience difficulty hearing in noisy environments. These then transmit the message to the area of the brain in charge of interpreting auditory input.  Just an idea of how complex this organ is there are approximately 40 000 hair cells in a normal cochlea, which is the size of a pea!

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