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This is on-topic for METAR because hearing loss affects the growing aging population.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/straining-to-hear-a...


New York Times, February 11, 2013
Straining to Hear and Fend Off Dementia
By KATHERINE BOUTON

...

“Compared to individuals with normal hearing, those individuals with a mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss, respectively, had a 2-, 3- and 5-fold increased risk of developing dementia over the course of the study,” Dr. Lin wrote in an e-mail summarizing the results. The worse the hearing loss, the greater the risk of developing dementia. The correlation remained true even when age, diabetes and hypertension — other conditions associated with dementia — were ruled out....

Possible explanations for the association: The first is social isolation, which may come with hearing loss, a known risk factor for dementia. Another possibility is cognitive load [the brain is so preoccupied with translating the sounds into words that it seems to have no processing power left to remember and think]. A third is some pathological process that causes both hearing loss and dementia....

Low-frequency loss could be an early indication that a patient has vascular problems: the inner ear is “so sensitive to blood flow” that any vascular abnormalities “could be noted earlier here than in other parts of the body.”...

Forty-eight million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. If it can be proved in a clinical trial that hearing aids help delay or offset dementia, the benefits would be immeasurable....
[end quote]

I found this article to be eye-opening (ear opening?) because it mentions hearing loss and both social and physiological correlations.

I have some high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud equipment. The article mentions low-frequency hearing loss. Our local hearing aid company gives free hearing tests.

This data convinces me that hearing loss could have serious causes and serious consequences.

Investors may be interested in companies that produce hearing aids. However, they are expensive and usually not covered by health insurance or Medicare. Many people can't afford them.

Wendy
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Investors may be interested in companies that produce hearing aids.

While the last paragraph of the article plants the idea that hearing aids may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, buried in the middle of the article, are results of studies that have already been done:

Both studies also found, somewhat surprisingly, that hearing aids were “not significantly associated with lower risk” for cognitive impairment.

This makes me suspect the article was sponsored by Beletone...like many other "reports" passed off as news, that are actually thinly veiled advertising or propaganda.

Steve
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Wendy

I'm afraid I have to agree with Steve on this one. Little things like new hearing aids every year or two and don't buy them at Costco leaves a bit of an odor.

I should add that the start of the article "At a party the other night", everyone who has hearing problems methinks would know that crowds with multiple sound sources coming at you are impossible for hearing impaired people (such as myself). Hearing aids actually just makes the babble louder.

What does help is if the people around hearing impaired get in the habit of spending a few seconds to get the person's attention rather than starting a conversation where the subject is lost before he has a chance to "tune in". I would add, do not bother starting a conversation if there is water running (total wipe out). It is difficult at first but constantly asking for a re-start is also painful. Do not start a conversation while turning away, many hearing impaired read lips without realizing they are doing it and it really helps if they can see the lips.

I have the very best hearing aids provided free along with an unlimited number of batteries. Sadly I rarely wear the things because they are useless if nobody is around and even more useless in a crowd.

There is a lot more but my beer is empty and I'm going to live wild and have a second one.


Any <START, START, START> mouse
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I try not go to loud parties because I might as well be standing between two or three jackhammers.

In such cases I find that my blood sugar drops a great deal. I think it's because I'm working so hard just to understand the conversation.

I have also found that I need to take a snack when I go to concerts. Otherwise I also fall into low blood sugar,

My point is that even some deafness puts a physical load on a person.

To clarify, I should add that I am only moderately deaf and have no trouble in normal social circumstances with fewer than 6 or 8 people present.

Ted
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Sheesh, I wish you guys would SPEAK UP!

Dan
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Thank you, Wendy, for this interesting article. I just passed this along to a private Facebook message board for DJs only. I would say over 95% of us have noticeable hearing loss, myself included.
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Wendy,

I see some merit and a couple of good insights in the article.

My grandmother lived on her own from the age of 74 to 98 with a growing hearing loss and towards the last decade a growing dementia. I have seen anecdotal evidence for what that article is saying.

Dave
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One needs to see if the hearing loss has a common cause that is associated w/ dementia.

My father experienced hearing loss in his early 50's. It was due to a genetic component that caused the stapes to fuse to other bones in the ear. He underwent a stapedectomy, which replaced the stapes w/ a plastic counterpart and could once again hear. (This was a cause of great chagrin to my brother and myself because Dad could once again detect that we weren't really asleep after our bedtime<G>.)

He died in '93 of primary amyloidosis w/ no hint of dementia.

PM
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"...I have some high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud equipment..."

Dear Wendy:

Excellent and critically important post. I've hearing loss from working around machinery. Over the many years, employees complained about the noise, but OSHA always found the decibel level well within their requirements.

The problem, in my opinion, was the constant harsh mechanical noise which permeated the workroom floor, day after day, year after year.

There's a second important point: "sound processing overload". It occurred to me that perhaps our senses were never intended to process such a large amount of "information filled" sound every hour of every day. What I mean is that since childhood, we've been exposed to radio, television, telephone, music along with the sounds of our industrial world; all sounds which command our attention.

How often do any of us have a 'quiet moment', away from all that? Hardly ever. We are constantly interrupted by 'information dense' sounds.

But sticking to the point, the emotional and medical cost of 'dementia' far exceeds the cost for effective treatment of hearing loss.

Let's hope that research on the long term effects of hearing loss is pursued.

Your ear filled Fool,
FM
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My father experienced hearing loss in his early 50's.

...

He died in '93 of primary amyloidosis w/ no hint of dementia.

PM



Phew, thanks PM and a big rec I was starting to worry!!!!

I know what caused my hearing loss... actually there was more than one culprit but I knew them all well.


Any <EH!> mouse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmx57C0mVZ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfAgvNhDLm4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oyd1EVGBqro

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M252_mortar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_SkA9r88g0
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As with our obesity threads -- think about the youngsters in your life and help them to learn early what you now know but learned perhaps too late.

Protection: earplugs available for use if necessary (often!!!) at concerts and nightmarish "professional parties" done at bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, birthdays in rented halls with monster systems.

BUT they will NOT listen to you unless you also teach them

Delightful Use: Use it or loose it. Take off the headphones and actually listen to real sound in real places. Can you hear the squirrel and locate it before you see it?
pick out the exact sound and location of a specific instrument, say an english horn, in a symphony hall while an orchestra plays?
know who is coming up the walk by their tread, or even shuffling in place and breathing, alone?
find the trickle of water in a thirsty desert canyon by dialing deep deep deep into the silence and hearing the tiny gracious sound it makes?
renew in blessed silence putting all attention on watching the process of consciousness of consciousness when the only stimuli are breath, the body physical, and the mind wandering?

Teach these games to 10 year olds and they are much more likely to use protection and hear well all their lives.

david fb

(loved tracking animals in the Sierra Nevada and Mojave desert from age 7 and started shunning rock concerts when they went competitively psycho loud in the late 60's)
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<
There's a second important point: "sound processing overload". It occurred to me that perhaps our senses were never intended to process such a large amount of "information filled" sound every hour of every day. What I mean is that since childhood, we've been exposed to radio, television, telephone, music along with the sounds of our industrial world; all sounds which command our attention.

How often do any of us have a 'quiet moment', away from all that? Hardly ever. We are constantly interrupted by 'information dense' sounds.>

FastMike, you have put your finger on an important (though separate) issue.

The issue you are highlighting is multitasking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_multitasking


Studies of the phenomenon of cognitive load in multimedia learning extensively have concluded that it is difficult, and possibly impossible to learn new information while engaging in multitasking. ...Students who engaged in more multitasking reported more problems with their academic work.

http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/costs-o...

Multitasking
The Cognitive Costs of Multitasking

By Kendra Cherry

Multitasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40-percent according to some researchers.

Switching from one task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can cause mental blocks that can slow down your progress....
[end quotes]

Personally, I can't listen to music while I am "in the flow" of solving a scientific or math problem because the music distracts me. Similarly, I can't listen to news podcasts while I'm cooking several meals at once (which I do on Friday in preparation for Shabbos).

I think it's not a coincidence that the founders of more than one religion found their inspiration while isolated in the wilderness, which enabled intense introspection.

"Information dense sounds," as you aptly call them, are distracting. The human brain circuits that process conscious thought cannot handle more than one thought at a time. A person multitasks by switching from one task to another, not by running both at once. The interruptions reduce effectiveness.

Wendy
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Good Morning Wendy

That is a very interesting article. I have had a hearing loss going back nearly forty years due to gunfire and jet engines. My hearing steadily deteriorated and despite better and better hearing aids it got to the point when I became socially isolated and almost all communication was through my better half. At that point my audiologist said that nothing further could be done and advised me to seek specialist advice on cochlear implants.
I had one implant shortly afterward and the result was simply amazing. I went from a speech recognition factor of 20 percent to 88 percent at the switch on and a week later it had risen to 94%. Subsequently I had the other implant with the same quite amazing results. Eighteen months later I couldn't imagine life without them. They have enabled me to simply pick up my life where it left off decades ago.
As a fix to hearing problems they really are the tops.

Regards
Harmy
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tim

I should add that the start of the article "At a party the other night", everyone who has hearing problems methinks would know that crowds with multiple sound sources coming at you are impossible for hearing impaired people (such as myself). Hearing aids actually just makes the babble louder.

What does help is if the people around hearing impaired get in the habit of spending a few seconds to get the person's attention rather than starting a conversation where the subject is lost before he has a chance to "tune in". I would add, do not bother starting a conversation if there is water running (total wipe out). It is difficult at first but constantly asking for a re-start is also painful. Do not start a conversation while turning away, many hearing impaired read lips without realizing they are doing it and it really helps if they can see the lips.

I have the very best hearing aids provided free along with an unlimited number of batteries. Sadly I rarely wear the things because they are useless if nobody is around and even more useless in a crowd.


tim. I sympathise with you because I've been there and know what it's like. If you can afford cochlear implants or have good insurance then go for it. They have truly changed my life but not only that, they have changed my wife's life and the way my family interact with me as well.

Regards
Harmy
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tim

...and BTW I can hear clearly and well in noisy situations. Shopping malls for example have always been an anathema to me but I hear perfectly everthing my better half says to me these days. I can hear what bank tellers are saying behind their glass screen and I can talk to shop assistants and finally but not least I don't have problems with the Supermarket check-out operators who used to aske me whether 'I had tried the pumpkin soup this morning' when what she really was asking was 'Did I have my Fly-Buys card'.

Cheers
Harmy
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tim. I sympathise with you because I've been there and know what it's like.

Harmy

In truth I have no problems with one on one situations especially if I can see their lips. The telephone is a bit of a pain especially if the other end has an accent or there are other sources of noise in the room. I know where all the mute buttons are except the one on the cat when she wants something.

I haven't looked into cochlear implants but frankly really don't like having things stuck in me. Ironically my nine year old grandson has had them (done in California) since he was five and we realized he really couldn't make out what we were saying and wasn't just ignoring us.

Cost should not be a factor as I have a generous DVA pension which pretty well gives me a free ride for anything related to the problem if the doc says I need it.

Actually I just checked and if you meet the criteria they are approved by Health Canada and therefore included in our healthcare system.

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/should+cochlear+implant/7...

Across Canada, more than 4,000 adults and children have received cochlear implants since they were first approved by Health Canada.

My audio profile is rather amusing as it is mostly almost normal until it falls off the cliff but I'm mostly able to overcome problems without having to resort to throttling people who speak too fast. }};-D


Tim <besides it gives me an excuse to act grumpy at times> 443
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*checking* I wear and aid and have for some time. Don't believe I am demented yet, although my wife might disagree.
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

I should add that the start of the article "At a party the other night", everyone who has hearing problems methinks would know that crowds with multiple sound sources coming at you are impossible for hearing impaired people (such as myself). Hearing aids actually just makes the babble louder.

Tim & I have "bilateral high frequency hearing loss" brought on by shooting guns and riding in helicopters without hearing protection. Your being around loud machinery w/o hearing protection puts you in the same camp as us.

Everything he said about the effects of hearing loss is true and if you need hearing aids I suggest you get them. I use mine mostly for watching TV shows so I don't have to turn the volume up so high it rattles the windows when female characters speak.

But I wear them often when we go out with friends. They are just about useless in a loud restaurant, but work in the car coming and going to eat.

Hearing loss will affect your interaction with others so it is not an unimportant issue.

Desert (often just nods & says "yes" when he doesn't understand what others are saying) Dave
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Thank you, Wendy, for this interesting article. I just passed this along to a private Facebook message board for DJs only. I would say over 95% of us have noticeable hearing loss, myself included.

iirc many rock bands wear ear plugs on stage so as to protect their hearing. As a professional you should too.
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Hi tim

The problem for me was that my hearing was deteriorating quite quickly and I had to make a decision whether to stumble on or get the implants. Frankly the first one was a no-brainer but the second one meant that I would be deaf when I removed them at night or showering. I had to think about that for a full ten minutes before I made the decision to go ahead with the second one because the first was such a revelation.
My better half refers to them as a 'miracle' and I guess for her it is.
Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you.
Incidentally it was the Oz DVA which paid for mine too although I did have medical insurance.

Regards
Harmy
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iirc many rock bands wear ear plugs on stage so as to protect their hearing. As a professional you should too.

The big finale at the Saline Celtic Festival is when all the pipe bands form up and march around the grounds playing "Scotland The Brave". The Festival hosts an official pipe band competition, so this ends up with a couple hundred pipers. Anyway, one year the parade stopped right in front of me, and I noticed some of the pipers wearing ear plugs.

How loud can pipes be? I was sitting on the ground listening to one band, maybe half a dozen pipers with associated drums, and noticed the water bottle in my hand was vibrating.

Steve
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... At that point my audiologist said that nothing further could be done and advised me to seek specialist advice on cochlear implants.

I had one implant shortly afterward and the result was simply amazing.


Rush Limbaugh is deaf in both ears and has a cochlear implant in one ear. He says he has trouble hearing music. He can recognize the songs he remembers from the days when he was a DJ but the new music just sounds like noise to him.

Is that the case for you too?
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Well, all the hearing challenged folks are self-identifying. I had both eardrums broken in my SE Asian experience and have had ringing since (would that it was from rock music). I have the problems of concentration in crowds.

The bigger problem is DW. She's had degenerative nerve damage in both ears since I've known her. I think we took her to an audiologist 33 years ago. Then there wasn't much to do -- the hearing aids were terrible. The problem is how gradual it is. We dug up several past tests and you could see her upper range gradually being knocked off.

It finally got so bad that she decided on hearing aids. Since she doesn't read this IMO it's been totally about vanity. She has NEVER wanted to be identified, even accidentally, as a person who wears hearing aids. I went to the doctor with her, but the topic is totally off limits for me. I never know when she has them in or not. The technology in hearing aids now seems wonderful. It's been two months and I just don't know her reaction yet. She is one of the brightest and most successful women I know, in the healthcare field and can and does supply multiple ways to help other people, and this is a VERY big and personal thing for her.

It IS a problem. Our worst "fights" are when I've said something (it's amazing how many conversations don't occur face-to-face) and she didn't hear it or miss-heard it. I totally understand how that could lead to isolation. Although I doubt DW will ever retire.

Rambling, but I just don't buy hearing loss aiding dementia. Correlations are constantly mixed with causation, and even correlation is mixed with the degree items are correlated. Isolation could be a factor, but what causes THAT level of isolation. But, then again, I only have this ringing ....

Thanks Wendy and everyone. This will be a topic between DW and me. It's helped my own thinking.

Bob
RYR Home Fool
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The problem for me was that my hearing was deteriorating quite quickly and I had to make a decision whether to stumble on or get the implants.

...

My better half refers to them as a 'miracle' and I guess for her it is.
Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you.
Incidentally it was the Oz DVA which paid for mine too although I did have medical insurance.

Regards
Harmy


Thanks for the info, I have notice some decline even since the last review a bit over a year ago. I'll probably hold off as long as I can manage without too much frustration or a divorce. }};-D

It does seem to have more effect on the "better half". I used to politely let her finish her story before telling her I had missed the subject so had no idea what she was talking about... now I interrupt her right away to avoid having her repeat the whole story. }};-()

Our DVA gave me a phone number that worked really well last time around. She called me for follow up after getting me new latest model hearing aids and a significant increase in the monthly tax free stipend and told me if I have any problems to call that number rather than trying to stumble through the system. Our PM got caught some years back by the opposition and news people trying to short the vets and won't make that mistake again. }};-D

Regards and thanks again

Tim
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<I just don't buy hearing loss aiding dementia. Correlations are constantly mixed with causation, and even correlation is mixed with the degree items are correlated. Isolation could be a factor, but what causes THAT level of isolation.>

I think that there are several possible causes for the correlation of hearing loss with dementia. It's more useful to try to sort them out than to try to force a one-size-fits-all.

There is absolutely no question that social isolation exacerbates dementia. This has been demonstrated conclusively by studies of large populations of elderly.

The human brain absolutely needs social stimulation. The statistical evidence between loneliness (subjective experience of isolation) and dementia is so convincing that I began to invite women friends over for tea regularly and deliberately developed several local, face-to-face friendships that hopefully will endure the test of time. If "Big Pharma" could develop an anti-dementia drug that was as effective as social interaction, it would be a blockbuster.

Severe hearing loss does cause social isolation. The effect may be gradual, but it is easily observed. First, you mentioned "fights" between you and your wife because she misheard or didn't hear what you said. Marriage is the most important social interaction.

If your wife's hearing loss is causing problems with you (who loves her the most), imagine what might happen with family, friends and co-workers. They might accidentally offend her because she misheard what they said. They might gradually lose interest in trying to communicate with her as her hearing worsens. I have some friends with hearing loss and our conversations are more difficult since I can't be sure how much of what I say they can hear. I have a neighbor who seems likeable and sociable but he can't hear so I don't bother trying to talk with him (though I do smile and give a treat to his dog).

As a person ages and his/her hearing gradually worsens, friends and family may gradually stop trying to socialize. Eventually, the person can be socially isolated because few will try to talk with them. They can feel lonely -- that is what can lead to dementia.

Many women are very sensitive to any implication that they are aging because society devalues older women. I think it's rather hard for men to understand just how emotionally vulnerable women are to the fear that they will become old and their husband will desert them. That's not vanity -- it's far deeper than vanity.

If you intend to convince your wife to admit her hearing loss and use her hearing aids, you have to (1) convince her that there is scientific evidence that they are essential to her long-term health and (2) you will love her regardless of her physical condition and (3) you will love her even more if you know that she can hear you when you whisper "sweet nothings."

Wendy
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but the new music just sounds like noise to him.

I am not sure that has anything to do with hearing loss or cochlear implants. I have the same problem and my hearing is excellent.
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but the new music just sounds like noise to him.

I am not sure that has anything to do with hearing loss or cochlear implants. I have the same problem and my hearing is excellent.


Hee hee, I know what you mean.
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DD

Rush Limbaugh is deaf in both ears and has a cochlear implant in one ear. He says he has trouble hearing music. He can recognize the songs he remembers from the days when he was a DJ but the new music just sounds like noise to him.

Is that the case for you too?


No, at the time when they switched it on (about a month after the op) I heard everything exactly as it should sound - music was simply amazing and I played the car stereo full blast as I drove home !! Peoples voices and sounds all sounded exactly as they should. I was warned that for some people the sound may sound slightly robotic or distorted for a while as the brain becomes used to hearing noises which it hadn't heard for years but that wasn't the case for me. My audiologist told me that some people have problems with music and my controller, by which I can make adjustments to the noises level etc, does have a music programme. I've never used it because I don't have to.
I've spoken to a number of people who have had CI's and all have said they are life-changing.

Regards
Harmy
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Bob

This will be a topic between DW and me. It's helped my own thinking.

CI's are less of a problem for women because their long hair tends to hide them. Everyone has to make their own decision and no-one can tell you what that decision should be. The one thing I would say is that there is simply no comparison between hearing aids and CI's. They are chalk and cheese. I can only relate my own experiences which are many. Walking into a shopping mall and hearing someone walking very close behind me only to find that I was hearing my own footsteps was one. Hearing birds for the first time in decades was another. Hearing and understanding my grandkids was another. I could go on. There is one thing I would point out and that is that hearing impaired people do not understand just how their impairment adversely affects their partners and family. It is a major problem but wives and partners tend to grin and bear it which these days is simply not necessary.
Most people with hearing aids find that as their hearing deteriorates they have to get better and better ones but eventually even that type will not give you back the hearing you would like.
The criteria for CI's has eased markedly these days and are now looked upon as simply the next step from hearing aids so that you don't have to be almost completely deaf before they will go ahead with the procedure as it formerly was.

If you would like to discuss this further then email me through the board and I'll be happy to continue the discussion.

Regards
Harmy
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.
You will be able to recommend 7 more posts today. (explain this)


Rush Limbaugh is deaf in both ears and has a cochlear implant in one ear. He says he has trouble hearing music. He can recognize the songs he remembers from the days when he was a DJ but the new music just sounds like noise to him.

Is that the case for you too?

No, at the time when they switched it on (about a month after the op) I heard everything exactly as it should sound - music was simply amazing and I played the car stereo full blast as I drove home !!


Great!

My audiologist told me that some people have problems with music ... I've spoken to a number of people who have had CI's and all have said they are life-changing.

Ayup! People don't understand how difficult it is once the hearing loss reaches the human speech range.
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I'm having a problem with hearing loss contributing to dementia. It may mask the symptoms of dementia for a time, because people interact less. Family & friends attribute memory problems to the hearing problem.

MDH (his Mother had ALZ) and I (a control) are part of the Adult Children study at Washington University Med School (http://alzheimer.wustl.edu/About_Us/PDFs/MAP%20Brochure.pdf).

This project is basic research that is trying to pinpoint the possible cause(s). They put us through psychometric testing and clinical interviews (as a check on changes from previous visits), MRIs, PET scans and lumbar punctures (spinal taps). I just went through the first three over the last month. The spinal tap is scheduled for Monday.

They haven't done anything with hearing loss, but then again, they are looking for body chemistry changes that would produce the plaques.

PM
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Awhile back we had a fairly long thread dealing with Asperger's syndrome. I wonder what conclusion, if any, might be drawn about the likelihood of Asperger people developing dementia.

A person with Asperger syndrome might have limited social interaction but have a great deal of mental stimulation from reading, investigating, simple tinkering, hobbies etc. Could any tentative conclusions be drawn as to the likelihood of developing dementia?

Ted
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Harmy,

Thank you! I can't tell you how moved I am about your knowledge and concern AND the input from everyone. I've bookmarked this thread and will now consider how to talk with DW about this. It IS a sensitive topic.

In the mean time I've decided to get my own hearing loss and the ringing in my ears checked. Who am I to talk too much since I've been ignoring it for over 40 years?

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving --- METAR discussions, and TMF. Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!

Bob
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I've decided to get my own hearing loss and the ringing in my ears checked. Who am I to talk too much since I've been ignoring it for over 40 years?



Bob

You might want to shorten "the ringing in my ears" to Tinnitus which only in the last eight years became a separate diagnosis by our DVA. I actually only notice mine when nothing is going on around me or I'm thinking about it.

Tim


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus

Tinnitus is common: about 20% of people between 55 and 65 years old report symptoms on a general health questionnaire, and 11.8% on more detailed tinnitus-specific questionnaires.[3]

...

Characteristics

Tinnitus can be perceived in one or both ears or in the head. It is usually described as a ringing noise, but in some patients, it takes the form of a high-pitched whining, electric buzzing, hissing, humming, tinging or whistling sound, or as ticking, clicking, roaring, "crickets" or "tree frogs" or "locusts (cicadas)", tunes, songs, beeping, sizzling, sounds that slightly resemble human voices or even a pure steady tone like that heard during a hearing test, and in some cases, pressure changes from the interior ear.[4] It has also been described as a "whooshing" sound because of acute muscle spasms, as of wind or waves.[5] Tinnitus can be intermittent, or it can be continuous, in which case it can be the cause of great distress. In some individuals, the intensity can be changed by shoulder, head, tongue, jaw, or eye movements.[6]

Most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss,[...
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You might want to shorten "the ringing in my ears" to Tinnitus which only in the last eight years became a separate diagnosis by our DVA. I actually only notice mine when nothing is going on around me or I'm thinking about it.

Tinnitus is a seperate issue be sure to mention it if the audiologist doesn't ask. I ignore mine, but some people find it very distracting. There are ways to mask it but I haven't looked into them.
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*I hope I can be forgiven for extending this thread past it's use-by date by it is obviously a topic which has engendered a great deal of interest.

Hi Bob

Don't think that I am connected in some way to Cochlear and pushing their product. I can assure you that I'm not. A good lead in to the issue is to read some personal stories and there are many of those. If I were to offer advice it would be to research as much as you can on the internet before you make an appointment with a specialist. In that way you can build up a really good understanding of the whole subject warts and all.
Here's a couple of links which will start you off. These are Australian but there are US links if you prefer.
Good luck and best wishes.
Regards
Harmy

PS. Ringing in the ears or tinnitus as it is called is a usually associated with hearing damage and I have it in spades. However, one side effect of the CI's is that the tinnitus disappears or is masked by the implants. One further little gem is that even though I have bi-lateral CI's I am not totally deaf when I remove them. I can faintly still hear and understand my better half if she enunciates clearly and I can lip read (which we all do to some extent even though we may not be aware of it).

http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/au/home/connect/pers...

http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/au/home/connect/pers...
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Ted,

The only person I knew who contracted ALZ was my MIL. She was the most outgoing person I've ever met. She never met a stranger. That said, 20 years, or so, before she was diagnosed w/ ALZ, she reminded me of Gracie Allen (see example about 1 minute in at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBHJoHPgnuE), except it wasn't an act.

PM
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