As Better Hearing & Speech Month comes to an end, here is an overview of some of the audiology and hearing loss articles in the news this month.
Sleep Apnea Tied to Hearing Loss
According to a study published by the American Academy of Audiology, sleep apnea may be linked to hearing loss. “Both high and low frequency hearing impairment have been linked with sleep apnea in a new study of nearly 14,000 individuals,” says lead author of the study, Amit Chopra, MD, at Albany Medical Center in New York. “The mechanisms underlying this relationship merit further exploration. Potential pathways linking sleep apnea and hearing impairment may include adverse effects of sleep apnea on vascular supply to the cochlea via inflammation and vascular remodeling or noise trauma from snoring.”
Why Cardiovascular Health Should Be Added to the Hearing Case History
The Hearing Journal reports that the relationship between cardiovascular health and hearing is strong. Dr. Hull, professor of communication sciences and disorders in audiology/neuroscience at Wichita State University says, “the case history should ask questions about coronary infarction, heart surgery as a result of coronary blockage, congenital heart conditions, vascular hypertension, and related disorders… Here’s why: Heart disease, hypertension, or any other restriction of blood supply to the peripheral and central auditory system can reflect itself in terms of audiometry and communication, and can be progressive in nature.”
First Three Years Critical for Child Speech & Language Development
Hearing Health Matters published a fictitious letter from “Little Brucie” asking his parents, “Do you know if I can hear you?” According to the article, “children with unaddressed hearing loss, regardless of how mild, are at risk of falling behind other children when they start school. Children with unmet communication needs can develop low self-esteem and frustrations leading to behavioral problems. In fact, unidentified hearing loss is still often misdiagnosed as behavioral issues, leading to incorrect interventions with heartbreaking, long term effects.”
Don’t Wait to Address Hearing Issues
“Hearing preservation practices in the here-and-now could keep people from having to rely on hearing aids as they grow older,” reports The Detroit News. “New research shows that hearing loss is associated not only with a range of physical problems, but also mental health issues such as social isolation and even dementia.”
Communication Disorders Cost the U.S. $154-$186 Billion Annually
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association published this infographic in recognition of Better Hearing & Speech Month.