It is widely known that many of the effects of aging can be slowed by staying physically, mentally and socially active, and generally maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only must we keep our bodies active, but we must keep our brains stimulated as well.
Advertising for mental games to exercise our brains and improve memory functions are seen all over the media. What you may not know is the role auditory stimulation plays in helping to preserve memory and in keeping our brains engaged.
Michanne Davidson, a HearUSA Doctor of Audiology with 30 years of experience in the hearing healthcare industry, elaborates on the adage “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” Dr. Davidson expands on how this relates to the topic of maintaining vitality.
If you don’t stretch regularly, you lose flexibility. If you don’t add a strength training component to your exercise program, you become weak. Let’s say you spoke two languages when you were younger but had stopped using one of these languages years ago. You would likely have a difficult time remembering the vocabulary necessary to converse in that language. If you isolate yourself socially from others because you are unable to hear and participate in the verbal repartee, you become withdrawn. And the examples can go on and on…
What happens with untreated hearing loss? Well, neurologically speaking, the auditory pathways which conduct sound from the ears to the cortical centers of the brain begin to degrade.Continued auditory deprivation has been shown to reduce the ability to clearly understand speech. These results of auditory deprivation are commonly seen by audiologists. Why?
Studies on healthcare trends are in agreement. People commonly wait ten years after treatable hearing loss is identified before they obtain hearing aids. Neuroauditory degradation has taken hold. In addition, according the National Institute on Aging, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. The bottom line….exercise your body and keep your brain stimulated.
Today’s hearing instruments are engineered to prescriptively stimulate the auditory system where you need it, thus reducing the cognitive strain associated with untreated hearing loss. There is technology available today that can link with cellular phones, televisions, computers and public address systems. For communication in noisy environments, hearing instruments can even zoom in on the intended person with whom you are communicating while reducing the surrounding sounds. These products have been proven to even outperform the human ear in demanding auditory situations. All of this in products that are small and inconspicuous. Although the appearance of the hearing instruments will not be obvious, what will be obvious is that you will once again be an active participant in the game of life.
“Every day in my practice, I am privileged to experience the joy expressed by patients trying on their first set of hearing instruments. When they hear their significant other clearly, even when standing down the hallway, they realize that they actually have been missing things. This is often followed by smiles and some tears from all of us in the room,” Dr. Davidson shares. “For this reason, if you are my patient, and I find hearing loss, I will always place my demonstration models on you so that you can experience this too.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
• Muffling of speech and other sounds.
• Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd of people.
• Trouble hearing consonants.
• Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly.
• Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio.
• Withdrawal from conversations.
• Avoidance of some social settings.
If you or a loved one is noticing signs of hearing loss – contact your local hearing healthcare provider today. Most hearing screenings are provided at no cost to you.
Bownwood Town Center • The Villages • 1-855-270-1587
Meet our Audiologist:
Danielle Rosier, Au.D., F-AAA
Audiologists complete, at minimum, an undergraduate and master’s level degree in audiology and a supervised clinical fellowship program prior to obtaining state licensure and national certification.
Originally from Ocala, Dr. Rosier became interested in hearing health after observing an audiologist work with a hearing impaired patient. She was amazed at how the patient’s life transformed and decided she wanted to help people and make positive changes in their lives.
Dr. Rosier graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida in 2008 and stayed in Gainesville to earn her Audiology Doctorate in 2012. She is a recipient of the Thomas B. Abbot Excellence in Audiology Award in 2012. Dr. Rosier is also on the Board of the Hearing Loss Association in the area.
Currently a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the Florida Academy of Audiology, Dr. Rosier focuses on adult and pediatric diagnostic audiometry, tinnitus evaluation and management, amplification, auditory electrophysiology, and aural rehabilitation counseling.
“Being an audiologist is my passion. Improving the quality of life for my patients and their families by offering one-on-one personalized care is so rewarding.
My goal is to empower patients to manage their hearing loss and improve their quality of life by providing patient-centered care that incorporates evidence-based practice, compassion and expertise.”