Delaying That Hearing Exam Maybe Welcoming Dementia


You’re active, you’re healthy, and you’re adventurous. You’re hip, you have an iPhone! You go out to the Symphony, the Movies, the Zoo, attend clubs and lectures. As active, healthy and adventurous as you are, you may find that you strain to hear others talk. Like most Baby Boomers and especially on the telephone or in noisy environments, you may be beginning to notice difficulty hearing in different environments. You are convinced that others are mumbling when they speak. They tell you that you have the TV or radio turned up too loud, and that too often they must repeat themselves when talking with you.

If you, or someone you know, strains to hear conversation, or needs to watch a speaker’s lips more closely to follow along, then it may be time to consider a hearing test. The fact is that one in six Baby Boomers have a hearing problem. In fact, hearing loss is the third largest chronic health condition in America, so you are not alone.

If you’re like most people who care about their health, every year your get your vision checked by an optometrist. You may get your teeth cleaned by the dentist. Many people get a physical by their primary care doctor, but less than 10 people out of 100 will ever get their hearing tested.

At first, a slight hearing loss seems like a minor inconvenience. But two studies by John Hopkins Medical School reveal that people with a hearing loss are up to five times more likely to develop dementia or other cognitive conditions. Your brain can lose a cubic centimeter or more of brain tissue each year your hearing loss goes untreated. And hearing loss can cause social isolation from avoiding conversation, sometimes leading to depression.

“Think of the pathways from your inner ear to your brain as a road,” said Nathan Bush, Marketing Director at Miracle-Ear Hearing Centers. “If a road is no longer driven, weeds grow over it and it becomes deteriorated. With your ears, the nerves in the cochlea (inner ear) need to be stimulated
and exercised to effectively transmit sound waves to the brain. The roads to the brain should be very highly valued.”

If you haven’t had a professional hearing test, or it’s been a long time since you have, it is a very easy process. A hearing test, tests all three parts of your ear. The three parts of the ear are the outer, middle, and inner ear.

To test the outer ear your Hearing Health Specialist will use an otoscope to check for wax buildup, they display this on the television monitor for you to see. To test the middle ear, the specialist will check the eardrum and the three bones (three smallest in the body) for proper functionality and to ensure you are not in need of an emergency medical referral. Lastly, they will check your cochlea. In fact, the Specialist will test 12 different areas of the cochlea. This is to measure how much and at what frequencies you are experiencing loss.

For over 70 years, Miracle-Ear Hearing Centers have been helping St. Louisans improve their lives by improving their hearing. No other provider can match their history in providing the latest hearing aid technology and service to meet individual hearing health needs.

Today’s hearing aids don’t just amplify sound. The Miracle-Ear device actually has a brain. It can identify your voice and the voice of others. When trying to have a conversation, when you’re out to dinner, it will keep your voice natural, amplify the voice of your conversation partner while reducing background noise a full six decibels below speech. Just like your own brain, it helps you tune out the clutter and focus on what you want to hear.
Today’s hearing aids are made to sync with your iPhone. You can adjust the volume, programs, and when synced knows when you are moving and relaxes the directionality of the hearing device for a more natural sound in your environments. With today’s devices you can direct stream and still have and hear conversation.

Conversation, natural sounds, and stimulation of the nerves in the cochlea are important for your health. A Miracle-Ear hearing aid offers you crystal clear conversations, improved spatial auditory perceptions, and nerve stimulation. All this will curtail loss of brain matter, and keeps you connected to other people.

Miracle-Ear Centers are located throughout the St. Louis metro area. They provide free comprehensive hearing tests for everyone. If you need a hearing aid, they offer a full range of discrete behind-the-ear and in-ear options that allow users to enjoy more natural sound quality, wherever life takes them. And, they provide ongoing services for the life of the device for free. To schedule a free hearing screening, you can Call 314-230-8005, or for more information visit Miracle Ear at