Often a person with a hearing loss may not even recognize it. Their family will tend to notice it first. They may ask for more repetition, working a little bit harder, straining to hear.
Even a mild hearing loss doubles the risk of developing dementia. When the brain has to work harder to resolve the mismatch of what’s stored for words and what’s getting, it doesn’t get stored into long term memory as effectively, so hearing loss impacts memory. Hearing loss can also limit social interaction, further increasing the likelihood of cognitive decline. That’s why we are doing things differently, combining hearing tests with cognitive screening.
What is a Functional Hearing Assessment?
A functional hearing assessment goes beyond traditional hearing tests. During a traditional hearing test, audiologists isolate the ears. In a quiet booth, you listen to tones, and that’s important to know what the ears are picking up, and to identify where the trouble is with pitch.
You hear with your ear and your brain.
This is important information but it’s not a complete picture. What about how sound is processed in the nervous system, or in the brain. Our cognitive screener looks at memory, visual spatial, and executive function. Memory is incredibly important because we have this memory of sounds and words stored in the brain, and our brain is trying to match the incoming signal
Hearing happens out in the real world.
Lastly, the real-world hearing testing will tell how well you hear in noisy environments, like a restaurant. More than just tones, you have to really think about what was said. And different speakers can be easier or harder to understand. The hearing test is more than just tones, but how you hear in conversation. We are looking at the entire auditory system, ear to brain.
Imagine how much more engaged in life you can be when you can hear better and reconnect to the world around you. Schedule your appointment for a functional hearing assessment in Osseo, Minnesota.