The Heart of the Matter

By W.L. “Hunter” Huntley, III, HAS., BC-HIS –

The Heart of the MatterThe month of February is designated as National Heart Health Month.  Maintaining a healthy heart is extremely important for a multitude of reasons. The heart is the most vital organ in our body to promote an overall sense of well-being.

What the majority of people don’t realize is how much a healthy heart can have a direct correlation to hearing and hearing loss. When the heart is functioning normally it is responsible for sending a “proper” flow of blood and oxygen to all of our internal organs including the auditory nerves and the part of the brain that interprets speech. Without “proper” blood circulation, the nerves of the inner ear lose their ability to transmit sounds to the brain where we recognize and discriminate the spoken word. Eventually, the nerves will lose function, causing atrophy in the brain. Nerve damage is permanent and cannot be reversed.

However, individuals suffering from this malady can benefit from wearing hearing instruments. In fact, hearing devices are the only viable option for people with nerve deafness.

Hearing instrument technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the past several years. Digital hearing devices have made analog technology virtually obsolete. Digital hearing instruments contain computer chips that “prescription fit” each individuals hearing loss; like eyeglasses. Unlike prescription fitted eyewear, however, when a persons hearing changes digital hearing instruments can have their computer chips re-programmed, without the necessity of purchasing newer hearing devices.

Multi-memory technology allows users to adjust the sound input of each instrument up or down, depending on their environment to ensure the patient’s hearing devices stay at comfortable listening levels. Directional microphones allow the user to pick-up only sounds in front of them in noisy environments, without amplifying noise from behind.

In addition, automatic telephone response enables the user to hear over the phone, without the annoying squeal of older technology.

Early detection is key for any medical problem to be diagnosed and addressed. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine recently determined that individuals with mild hearing loss were twice as likely as those with normal hearing levels to develop dementia or Alzheimers disease. Those found to have severe hearing loss were five times as likely to contract the disease. This occurs due to the brain lacking “proper” stimulation, resulting in atrophy and loss of function.

Hearing exams, like vision, are recommended annually if you are fifty-five years of age or older. If you or a loved one suspects a hearing problem, then the first thing to do is set-up a hearing evaluation. Call for a FREE Evaluation at 997-8288.

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