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In The Intermountain West Since 1976
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Top-Rated Audiologist in St. George, Utah, Cedar City, Utah, Richfield, Utah & Hurricane, Utah
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Ask Dr. Darrow

  1. How Are Hearing Loss and Dementia related?
  2. What is NeuroTechnology™?
  3. How do I take care of my NeuroTechnology™ hearing aid?
  4. How do I pay for hearing treatment?
  5. When is the best time to start hearing treatment?

How Are Hearing Loss and Dementia Related?

It (hearing loss) not only increases age-related memory loss, it increases the incidents of Alzheimer’s disease so if you can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or delay it with good hearing devices that’s a major public health advance.

Quote by Erik Kandel, Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Hearing Loss impacts over 48 Million people in the U.S. and is listed by the Department of Health and Human Services as the 3rd most common chronic disorder affecting today’s seniors. Unfortunately, for most of us, age-related hearing loss is inevitable; impacting nearly 50% of seniors between the ages of 60-70, almost 2/3rd of people between the age of 70-80, and nearly 80% of individuals over the age of 80. Age-related hearing loss is characterized by the progressive loss of receptor (hair) cells in the ear, that consequently reduces thequantity, and quality, of neural connections from the ear to the brain. This slow-onset disease can have a significant impact on several key brain areas, including the memory, hearing, speech and language portions of cognition. Several key research studies have pointed to the potential links of hearing loss and Dementia, including the groundbreaking work from Dr. Lin and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins Medical Center that indicate hearing loss can increase the risk of Dementia by 200-500% (see summary data in Figure 1).

Every 3-4 seconds another patient is diagnosed with Dementia. Rates of Dementia are estimated to triple in the next 30 years. Unlike some other diseases, with Dementia the physical body is estimated to outlive the individual’s mental capabilities by 10 or more years. There is no cure for this catastrophic disease, but there are treatments available, including several ways to decrease your risk of developing Dementia.

Recent research has found that hearing loss can increase the risk of developing Dementia by 200-500%. This report, from researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center and the National Institute on Aging found that individuals with hearing loss (when compared to participants with normal hearing) are at a significantly higher risk of developing Dementia over time. The more hearing loss they had, the higher their likelihood of developing the memory-robbing disease. “A lot of people ignore hearing loss because it’s such a slow and insidious process as we age,” Dr. Frank Lin (of Johns Hopkins Medical Center) says. “Even if people feel as if they are not affected, we’re showing that it may well be a more serious problem.”

Three risk factors associated with hearing loss and Dementia include Social Isolation, Cerebral Atrophy and Cognitive Overload.

    1. Social Isolation – The Impact of reduced social and physical activity.Withdrawal from social situations is common in individuals with hearing loss. Many studies cite feelings of embarrassment, fear of making mistakes in conversations, and feeling like you are not part of the conversation as the common rational forindividuals with hearing impairment to sepearte themselves from family, friends and community. This retreat from social activity has even been found in individuals with a mild degree of hearing loss. In addition, individuals with hearing loss are less likely to engage in physical activity. Both increased social isolation and reduced physical activity are strong risk factors for the development of Dementia.
    2. Cerebral Atrophy (aka Brain Shrinkage)The association of a shrinking brain, resulting from the loss of neurons, with Dementia has been long documented. Even people with MCI (Mild Cognitve Impairment) show signs up cerebral atrophy. In recent years, scientific studies using advanced brain imaging technoquies (including fMRI – Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagin) have demonstrated that hearing impairment is associated with accelerated brain atrophy in both the overall brain, as well as even more advanced reductions in volume associated with the memory, hearing, speech and language portions of the brain.
    3. Cognitive Overload (i.e. Working Your Brain Too Hard To Hear)Hearing loss is not normal, and neither is the excess strain that is puts on your brain. While hearing loss may be more common as we age, it is critical that hearing loss be treated. With hearing loss, the brain is constantly on ‘overload’ trying to fill in the missing pieces, and follow the conversation. Increased cognitive load is considered a risk factor for developing Dementia. Cognitive load, as measured by pupillometry, is a measurement of how hard your brain is working to follow a conversation. Recentresearch has found that individuals who treat their hearing loss do not work as hard to listen (i.e. have a reduced cognitive load) and have as much as a 20% increase in memory recall when following a conversation.

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    What is NeuroTechnology™?

    NeuroTechnology™ is designed to treat hearing loss by using complex stimulation patters to help replace diminished auditory input to the brain. Traditional hearing aids just make things louder, but with today’s new NeuroTechnology™ treatment options you can hear more clearly and more naturally, in all listening environments – even in noisy restaurants!

    Today’s NeuroTechnology™ hearing aids include the following features:

      • Enhanced Clarity – to help fill in the missing speech details
      • Noise-Cancellation Features – to help filter speech in noisy environments
      • Soft-Speech Booster – to help you hear the ‘soft-speakers’ in your life (i.e. children and grandchildren, your spouse)
      • Surround Sound Features
      • Bluetooth connectivity to your smart devices

    How Do Neurotechnology™ Hearing Aids Work?

    There are different types of NeuroTechnology™ – each custom designed and programmed to meet your hearing loss, and your hearing needs, but they all ultimately perform the same function: to help you hear more clearly, and more naturally.

    We hear with our BRAINS, not with our ears. Today’s NeuroTechnology™ is the only proven hearing loss treatment options with a focus on enhancing brain function by providing enhanced clarity surround-sound with background-noise cancelling features.

    NeuroTechnology™ can be used to address the full spectrum of hearing difficulties, from people with audiometric ‘normal hearing’ to individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.

    What Are The Different Types Of Neurotechnology™ Hearing Aids?

    NeuroTechnology™ comes in several ‘shapes and sizes’, including some invisible options for maximum discreteness. The hearing health care provider will review your treatment options based on your specific hearing loss and hearing needs. Regardless of which treatment option is right for you, whether you’re out to dinner with friends, hitting the beach, meeting with clients, or hiking, you’ll be able to hear what matters most withtoday’s hearing loss technology.

    SEVERAL FEATURES AVAILABLE INCLUDE:

    Invisible Treatment Options: Once placed in your ear, it’s hassle-free so that you may even forget you’re wearing the device! And that’s the point. Hearing loss shouldn’t hold you back, and neither should your hearing solution. Features in today’s invisible technology options include:

        • An invisible and custom fit device that fits deep inside your ear canal and are personally customized to you for all-day comfort
        • Easily adapt to new sounds with automatic volume control and adaptation to listening environment
        • Wireless streaming to your smartphone and/or to keep you connected to your TV, music and other media
        • Sound comfort technology designed to provide distortion-free listening comfort for loud sounds while ensuring ultimate

    Mini ‘Receiver In The Ear’ Options: Groundbreaking NeuroTechnology™ is fast and precise enough to analyze and follow the dynamics of the entire auditory environment, and differentiate between speech and background noise. Advances in miniaturization of technology have led to the breakthrough of new NeuroTechnology™ proven to support brain function, including working memory, selective attention and processing speed (The Hearing Review: Dr. Desjardin, University of Texas, El Paso). These new devices have 3 features designed specifically to maintain the brain’s innate ability to hear in all different listening situations:

        • Clear Hearing In Background Noise: by separating important speech from background noise by as much as 10dB, this new technology provides 30% better speech understanding and clarity in noise
        • Enhanced Clarity: Enhanced Memory Recall. Individuals with hearing loss are known to have reduced memory recall because the Brain is deprived of a clear signal. With 20% more capacity to remember, this technology is the only available option proven to increase memory recall.
        • Reduced Effort: many of my patients explain that hearing requires effort as they age, and that it can make them tired after a day at work or with the grandchildren. Current available technology is proven to provide a 20% reduction in listening effort in noisy environments.

    In addition, some options include Bluetooth and Internet compatible options that enable:

        • Hands-free wireless (surround sound) hearing on the phone
        • Low-Battery reminders – devices can remind you by ear, phone, text or email that your batteries (or your spouse’s batteries) are low.
        • Wireless compatibility with any TV to enhance the clarity of the signal.
        • Allows for control of your Internet connected devices at home including the thermostat, lights, and even certain cooking appliances (i.e. yes, your hearing devices can automatically turn on your coffee maker each morning!)

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    How Do I Take Care of My NeuroTechnology™ Hearing Aid?

    Take Care of Your Neurotechnology™ and It Will Take Care Of You:
    Regular maintenance and care of your Neurotechnology™ is critical to the success of the devices and for success in treating your hearing loss.

        1. Daily Care: Be sure to use the provided lint-free cloth to wipe down your technology at the end of each day. This regiment will insure that oils from the skin, cerumen (ear wax), dandruff, etc., will not build on the unit and prevent proper stimulation of the auditory system. You may also find that the provided pick/brush can be helpful at removing cerumen embedded in the domes.
        2. Weekly Maintenance: Your Neurotechnology™ must be provided an ample supply of power to run properly. Your batteries will be expected to last between 4-7 days, depending on your use, connectivity to devices (i.e. Bluetooth connectivity to your phone, tablet, home TV,) etc. When you hear the audible battery warning tone, be sure to change batteries in both units at the same time. For those patients with rechargeable batteries, be sure to properly place the units in the charging station every evening to obtain a full charge.
        3. Monthly Care: It is important that both the domes and the wax filters be changed on a monthly basis (it is possible that for some patients this be done on a more regular basis depending on the amount of cerumen build-up). Domes: The dome on your NeuroTechnology™ speaker plays a critical role in the acoustic performance of your units and is specifically calculated in to the prescriptive acoustic settings. Wax Baskets: These filters have been specifically designed to prevent cerumen from entering the speaker and causing damage to the units. As cerumen builds in the basket, it can intermittently (or permanently) prevent sound stimulation from the units.

    NOTE: In the rare case that your NeuroTechnology is malfunctioning and not providing ample stimulation please follow these 2 steps before calling the office: 1) change the batteries, and 2) change the wax basket. These are the cause of 98% of all hearing aid emergency appointments and can help save you time and travel! As always, you are welcome to call the office if you are uncomfortable with either of these and would like help.

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    How Do I Pay for Hearing Treatment?

    Once you are comfortable and you know specifically which audiologist you want to treat you, your spouse, your parent or other family member, the next question typically is, “How much is this going to cost and how am I going to pay for this?”

    I have always believed that the patient needs options to help them invest in proper hearing health care. A reputable Audiology practice understands that for some people the upfront investment in hearing healthcare can be prohibitive. Patients must be provided with options.

    All Excellence In Audiology offices will offer reputable creditors / banks to help establish a payment plan (some with 0% interest for 1 year, or even a longer term payment plan with fixed interest terms).

    Be sure to ask your provider if they offer the exclusive Excellence In Audiology ‘Hear For Life™ program that provides individuals the opportunity to pay a one time down-payment and a small monthly fee thereafter with the advantage of full warranty (loss, damage and repair coverage for life), complete access to supplies, batteries and service appointments for life, and no-cost automatic upgradeson new versions of Neurotechnology for life.

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    When is the Best Time to Start Hearing Treatment?

    Simple answer: if you are over 50 you should have your hearing evaluated. And if it is determined that you have a hearing loss, early treatment is the key to success with Neurotechnology™.

    A More Detailed Answer: I always stress the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss to each of my patients.

    The American Speech Language Hearing Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Medical Association have all considered the recommendation of including ‘hearing evaluation / screening’ between the age of 50-60 years young. I often use the catch phrase ‘Ears and Rears’ as my way of getting people to remember to have their hearing checked when they turn 50 (and of course, have a colonoscopy too!).

    Similar to going to your primary care physician every year, obtaining a baseline hearing test can help to better serve you and your clinician to guide the medical recommendation at current or future appointments. Obtaining a baseline of normal hearing never hurt anyone!

    Regardless of age, if you are noticing any of the symptoms of hearing loss, e.g. difficulty hearing in noisy situations, difficulty hearing the TV (compared to others), if your family is suggesting you get a hearing test, or if you have ringing in your ears (defined as Tinnitus).

    Unfortunately waiting too long can significantly impact the expectations and outcome of treatment, and sadly every Audiologist I know has a patient they have had to tell they waited too long and the benefits of treatment will be minimal.

    Intermountain Audiology Provides 5-Star-Rated Hearing Aids & Hearing Treatment at Our Cedar City, Richfield, Hurricane & St. George, UT, Hearing Center Locations – Serving Cedar City, Brian Head, Parowan, Kanarraville, Enoch, Summit, Panquitch, New Harmony, Newcastle, Beaver, Richfield, Salina, Monroe, Fillmore, Delta, Joseph, Gunnison, Ephraim, Manti, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Kanab, Springdale, Leeds, Toquerville, Hilldale, Virgin, Rockville, New Harmony, St. George, Washington, Ivins, Santa Clara, Veyo, Dammeron Valley, Pine Valley, Enterprise and Central, Utah

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Your New Favorite Audiologist In St. George, Cedar City, Richfield & Hurricane, Utah
"I've been with Dr. Manwarring for several years now. Having a good audiologist is very important to me. I've tried a couple of others, and they just don't seem to fit right with my needs and expectations.I would highly recommend Dr. Manwarring to anyone. Because of him, I have been given quality care, relate well with him, and I know I can depend on him to help me with my hearing aid and hearing loss needs."- Michelle B. 5 star
"They are always professional and friendly. They were able to assist my mother with getting hearing aids that work for her. They knew what type would suit her best. Service is excellent. I would recommend them to everyone who has hearing issues!"- Joan Y. 5 star
"Justin Bateman, the audiologist I worked with for my annual follow up and maintenance. He was so knowledgeable and thorough. He made a minor tweak to my hearing aids to adjust for a slight change in my hearing. It noticeably improved my hearing while wearing my hearing aids. Justin was very pleasant and efficient to deal with. I highly recommend this office."- Kerry W. 5 star
"Extremely professional with state-of-the-art technology. This was a big change from all the other low-budget offices I have visited over the years. I highly recommend them! You will not regret it!"- David L. 5 star
"My hearing devices has given me a new life. I can understand conversations with out straining and stopped the confusion on my part of the conversation. The people at Intermountain Audiology were great to work with and answered all of my questions. I would recommend them highly."- David B. 5 star
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435.688.2456
St. George Hearing Clinic

Intermountain Audiology
Hearing Clinics

161 W. 200 N. Ste. #100
St. George, UT 84770
Phone: 435.688.2456

Cedar City Hearing Clinic

Intermountain Audiology
Hearing Clinics

1277 N. Northfield Rd., #A220
Cedar City, UT 84721
Phone: 435.865.6761

Richfield Hearing Clinic

Intermountain Audiology
Hearing Clinics

1090 Cove View Road
Richfield, UT 84701
Phone: 435.896.8830

Hurricane Hearing Clinic

Intermountain Audiology
Hearing Clinics

45 South Main Street
Hurricane, UT 84737
Phone: 435.414.9100

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Dr. Darrow of Intermountain Audiology Hearing Clinics is the only neuroscientist in America practicing Audiology. Our St. George UT audiologist, Cedar City UT audiologist, Richfield UT audiologist, and Hurricane, UT audiologist provides award-winning hearing care. Our hearing care and treatment includes reducing the risk of dementia, improving cognitive function, restoring hearing clarity, tinnitus treatment for ringing in your ears, invisible hearing aids, hearing protection devices, hearing tests and hearing assessments.
Come experience Intermountain Audiology of Utah! You will see for yourself that our audiologist, hearing doctor and hearing specialist provides award-winning hearing care in St. George, Washington, Ivins, Santa Clara, Dammeron Valley, Veyo, Pine Valley, Enterprise, Central, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Kanab, Springdale, Leeds, Toquerville, Hilldale, Virgin, Rockville, New Harmony, Cedar City, Brian Head, Parowan, Kanarraville, Enoch, Summit, Panquitch, New Harmony, Newcastle, Beaver, Richfield, Salina, Monroe, Fillmore, Delta, Joseph, Gunnison, Ephraim and Manti, Utah.
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