Family playing cards 300x200Although hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline in the form of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, treating it can be quite effective in preserving brain function.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 5.7 people in the U.S. currently have Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. Another American develops dementia every 65 seconds, a rate that is expected to nearly triple the number of cases to 14 million Americans by 2060.

With Alzheimer’s being the sixth-leading cause of death in this country, there is extensive research into the disease and its causes. While these causes remain unclear, there are considerable findings showing a link between treating hearing loss with hearing aids and a slower rate of cognitive decline.

Kids Cafe Summer Lunch Program LogoHearing Associates recently helped address the food insecurity issue in the community by donating funds to Share Life’s Kids’ Café Summer Lunch Program.

A portion of all hearing aid sales and $20 for every free screening completed in September was donated to this program operated by Share Life in Clear Lake, Iowa. Kids’ Café aims to provide stability and food security to children during summer vacation and breaks in the winter and summer.

farmer with tractorWith harvest season quickly approaching, it’s time to pay attention to a hidden job hazard among farmers: hearing loss.

Decades spent working on and near loud farming equipment – tractors, combines, skid loaders, you name it – leads to many cases of noise-related hearing loss. Nationwide estimates suggest up to three-quarters of the country’s 13 million farmers have some level of hearing loss. One study found that more than 90% of farmers were exposed to extreme noise levels, but most did not treat their hearing loss – only 4% wore hearing aids.

Hearing Associates in Mason City, Iowa reminds you that much of this damage could be prevented or limited with proper hearing protection. Unfortunately, many farmers still don’t take proper precaution when it comes to their hearing. The study found that fewer than half of US farmers wore hearing protection on a daily basis.

teacher 300x200Research shows that the typical noise environment in schools puts teachers at an increased risk of hearing loss. 

Noisy gymnasiums, excited classroom chatter, bells ringing, lockers slamming shut – it all adds up to the potential for noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace for today’s educators. Traditionally, such studies have looked at professions in the construction, manufacturing and industrial worlds, but it does make sense that teachers would be exposed to excessive noise levels over the course of the school day. In fact, a greater percentage of teachers report diagnosed hearing loss than in other professions.

Sounds above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss (a lawnmower is 90 decibels, while a typical conversation is 60 decibels). A crowded gymnasium can easily exceed 90 decibels, so repeated exposure to that sound level could be particularly dangerous for music and physical education teachers, as well as those who work in athletics.

Marching BandLoud noises – they don’t do a body good.

Everyone knows that excessive noise levels are bad for our hearing, but most people don’t realize the negative impact they can have on our overall health.

Hearing Associates in Mason City, Iowa reminds you that permanent hearing loss can occur when we’re exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels over eight hours. Louder sounds do irreversible damage more quickly – 100 decibels can threaten your hearing after just 15 minutes, while 110 decibels is an immediate cause of hearing loss. Remember, a normal conversation is about 50 decibels.

Here are some of the unexpected ways loud noises can negatively impact our health: