elderly, old age, man, old man, alzheimers, communication, miscommunicate, dementia, parkinsons, old, old age, lonely, loneliness, alone, sad, isolated

              Have you ever been in a conversation where you couldn’t properly hear someone, then asked them to repeat themselves several times…only to give up and either pretend to agree or understand? Imagine that was now your way of life, and not a result of the noisy environment around you. This is the reality of many people today that suffer from hearing loss.

              If you had to live like that constantly, how difficult would social interactions become? How much more energy would it take for you to follow conversations and communicate clearly? At what point would you begin to withdraw from your loved ones because it’s either too hard to understand or because it’s emotionally painful to no longer be able to connect?

               As hearing loss increases with age and noise exposure, the brain spends more and more energy processing sound and less focus is given to thinking and memory. When people suffer from diminished hearing, social interactions cause a greater degree of mental fatigue while also creating rifts in communication. The result is often depression, confusion, and anxiety. When loved ones withdraw from family members and caregivers, the isolation makes it even harder to cope.

               Not only that, but poor hearing affects our ability to move well, think well, and interferes with how we process information from all other senses. This can make movement difficult or cause an increase in falls and injuries.

              These factors together can lead to cognitive decline, especially when coupled with genetic factors. At HEI we are seeing a greater correlation between hearing loss and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Currently, we are studying how toxic misfolded proteins in the inner ear contribute to the problem of hearing loss and can lead to an increased danger cognitive decline.

If our theory is correct, we may be closer to not only unlocking the treatments for hearing loss but potentially a cure for these neurodegenerative diseases that currently have no remedy.

Please follow and like us:

2 Comments, RSS

  • James Bohlmann

    says on:
    February 27, 2019 at 2:54 PM

    I just got off the phone with my brother, Arthur Bohlmann, a patient of your organization. And did he ever laud and magnify what you are doing !!!!! I envy him, since I am suffering very similar circumstance to his hearing loss–tinnitus, unbalanced hearing between the two ears, different tone hearing loss, etc. Would you by chance know if there is a similar organization here where I live in the Colorado Springs, CO. or Denver, CO. areas that may handle my hearing loss much like you do.?
    James Bohlmann

    • Admin

      says on:
      February 28, 2019 at 8:13 AM

      Hi James! Glad to hear Arthur is being taken care of here in OKC. There is a clinic in our building, but HEI is primarily a research institute so we are hesitant to make recommendations on behalf of the doctors at the Otologic Medical Clinic. You can reach out to them at 405-946-5563 and they may be able to point you in the right direction.

      We LOVE hearing wonderful stories from patients and family members of the great work begun by Dr. Hough both in a clinical setting and through the research. We couldn’t do it without the support of generous and inspiring people like you and Arthur. If you want to stay in the loop with the latest research we’re conducting about restoring natural hearing, please sign up for our email list. You may do so on this website or the Facebook page. Thank you again for sharing with us Arthur’s wonderful experiences – we appreciate your encouragement!