Dr. Enoch Cox, of Murray, Utah’s My Hearing Center location, is committed to the practice of hearing health, building his first ever hearing aid at the age of 14. Recently, he raised awareness on untreated hearing loss and its effects on the brain. On September 20, 2017, Dr. Cox appeared on ABC 4 Utah to discuss hearing loss.
From the Interview with Dr. Enoch Cox
Did you know that people wait an average of seven years to address hearing loss? The unfortunate reality is, if you do not address hearing loss, it could lead to other medical problems.
According to Dr. Cox: “A lot of people don’t really think about your ears being one of the largest pipelines of information to your brain, but they really are. Ever since we are little and as we grow up, most of what we learn is through our ears, as we pick up language from our parents, from the TV, from other people – everything’s just coming through. Often, as we age, we start to lose some of the nerve cells inside of our ears and that pipeline starts to choke down, really starving the brain for information. When that happens, you’re more at risk for developing dementia, heart attacks, strokes, depression – and it’s even been studied that if you have hearing loss and should be using hearing aids and you don’t, you could lose up to a cubic centimeter – about the size of a sugar cube – of brain mass every year.”
The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss on the Brain
While many people assume that hearing is something that just happens with your ears, hearing is actually a process that happens in the brain. When your outer ear picks up sound, these sound waves are transferred through your middle ear, where they are transformed into vibrations, which then make their way to the inner ear, where they are translated into neural signals sent to the brain. The brain receives these neural signals and processes this information as sounds that we know and recognize – anything from a dog’s bark to a fire engine’s siren.
With untreated hearing loss, this process is significantly hindered. Unclear sound signals make their way through the auditory process and provide the brain with muddled information. As our brains struggle to hear, this creates a cognitive load that has been found by various studies to increase the risk for developing dementia. Additionally, because the brain must use more energy to make sense of sounds, there are less faculties available for other mental processes, which is why untreated hearing loss often goes hand in hand with memory problems, problems with concentration, and increased falls and accidents.
How Hearing Aids Help
Here’s the good news: hearing loss is a treatable condition with the prescription of hearing aids. While many people may feel hesitant to use hearing aids based on what they know from the past, Dr. Cox points out that there is brand-new, sophisticated technology that is both discreet and powerful. Though many people think of hearing aids as “big and clunky,” Dr. Cox demonstrates with two small hearing aid models – one behind-the-ear and one in-the-ear – that are almost unnoticeable. “Depending on your level of hearing loss, we have all sorts of different technologies to overcome the problems,” says Dr. Cox.
Dr. Cox, a committed audiologist, also shares that though he does not have a hearing loss, he has tested out hearing aids for periods up to 2 years so he can thoroughly understand the experience of his clients.
It doesn’t hurt, he adds, that “they have really cool Bluetooth features and I use it with my phone!”
Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is an invisible condition, so it may be difficult for us to notice its appearance. However, there are certain tell-tale signs, according to Dr. Cox. When people ask, “What?” frequently, or find that they cannot hear in challenging noise situations such as busy restaurants, it may be due to hearing loss. Furthermore, if your family member asks you to turn down the TV volume on a regular basis, it may be the appearance of hearing loss.
Visit us at My Hearing Centers
Closing out his informative interview, Dr. Cox calls for 100 people to participate in a My Hearing Centers 30-day challenge, to help evaluate the sophisticated Signia Primax.
Visit My Hearing Centers (Murray, Utah) for a free hearing consultation and try the incredible Signia Primax hearing aid 30 days risk free. Call 801-506-6335 for more information.