Why and what should hearing care professionals know about cognitive impairment and dementia

Good reasons to care about cognitive impairment and dementia in audiology If asking people what they fear most when getting to old age, it is cognitive decline that is named most often. This comes with the expectation of limitations in...

Inter-professional teamwork and hearing care for older adults with cognitive loss

There is growing awareness that hearing loss is linked to dementia [1]. The average first-time hearing aid user is about 70 years old. By this age, approximately 1 in 2 people have hearing loss and 1 in 7 have cognitive...

Secrets of the listening brain: what measuring the brain can tell us about hearing aid use and more

In a typical audiology clinic, on any given day, a person is waiting to see an audiologist to get a hearing aid (HA). It might have taken over 10 years to get to this point of considering a hearing aid(s)...

Cognitive spare capacity: what is it and why does it matter?

Cognition refers to thinking and memory. So why would cognition be a useful concept for ENTs and audiologists? Audition provides our main channel of communication and when we speak to each other, we want to exchange thoughts and remember what...

Cognitive effort and listening in everyday life

Dining with family members, amongst the clinking of dishes and glasses, the sounds of conversations and laughter, the husband, a user of hearing aids, misses his wife’s request to bring another bottle of wine. After a third try, the wife,...

How cognition influences hearing aid use

Introduction Hearing aids are designed to provide amplification for individuals with poor auditory sensitivity. Signal processing algorithms are designed and implemented in hearing aids to further enhance speech intelligibility and to improve listening comfort by attenuating unwanted background noise. Sarampalis...

The role of metrics in studies of hearing and cognition

Introduction When perceiving sounds in real-world listening environments, older adults encounter several sources of degradation that can interfere with the perceptual process (Figure 1). Target signals (i.e. the sounds that a listener wants to focus on) have specific acoustic characteristics...

The ear-brain connection in cochlear implant users: learning to listen again

While the cochlear implant (CI) has been a tremendous success in restoring hearing to deaf individuals, the implantation outcome still varies across CI users [1]. Some demographic factors, such as duration of deafness, and peripheral factors, such as electrode placement,...

The ear-brain connection: the role of cognition in neural speech processing

Audiologists and other hearing healthcare professionals have become increasingly interested in the importance of cognitive function in the assessment and management of hearing loss, especially in light of evidence suggesting a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline in older...

Could social isolation be a factor in the link between hearing loss and dementia?

In 1802, Beethoven wrote to his brothers Carl and Johann about his hearing loss: “You men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause...

Why screen for hearing loss in adults?

Introduction Hearing loss affects over 10 million people in the UK – one in six of the population. Of over 50-year-olds 41.7% are estimated to have some form of hearing loss. This rises to 71.1% of over 70-year-olds, over half...

Adult hearing screening: consideration for a holistic model

Background Adult-onset hearing impairment is a highly prevalent and undertreated chronic problem that poses a significant burden of disease worldwide [1]. It is usually gradual and diagnosed and managed approximately 10 years after adults have first experienced hearing difficulties [2]....