If staying sharp is on your wish list of things you’d like to maintain as you gracefully grow older, Dr. Carla Pielmeier, audiologist at The Good Samaritan Hospital Audiology Clinic in Lebanon, Pennsylvnaia, recommends you consider a hearing exam before you invest in pricey mind strengthening exercises and gadgets. Dr. Pielmeier recently returned from a national conference of leading hearing care professionals in Orlando that looked at the impact of hearing loss on cognitive ability. “Most experts agree that the most effective way to maintain cognitive function is by maintaining a healthy social network,” Dr. Pielmeier says. “We know that people with untreated hearing loss often drop out because it is simply too difficult for them to engage effectively in the give-and-take process of social interactions.”
For people with hearing loss, the brain works overtime to translate signals and understand speech, especially in noisy environments such as restaurants, business meetings and social gatherings. It takes more time and more energy to reflect on the meaning of sounds, to remember the flow of a conversation and to respond before the conversation has moved on. Over time, it simply becomes easier to sit back in social and business situations – leading some to gradually isolate themselves from the “stress” of social interaction.
A hearing exam can quickly and painlessly pinpoint a hearing loss. Dr. Pielmeier notes that today, with a wealth of sleek and stylish advanced technology hearing solutions that can address all degrees of hearing loss, there is no reason to continue with untreated hearing loss. Dr. Pielmeier is one of the first hearing care professionals in the U.S. to offer the new Oticon Agil -- a hearing instrument specifically designed to enable people with hearing loss to minimize the cognitive energy expended in typical listening environments without compromising sound quality and speech understanding. With Agil, speech understanding becomes more immediate so that more cognitive energy is readily available to engage in day-to-day interactions.
“Staying connected to modern life through today’s high-tech communication and entertainment devices is another way that hearing impaired people maintain an active, vital lifestyle,” states Dr. Pielmeier. “Agil connects wirelessly and seamlessly to mobile phones, MP3 music players and a variety of other communication and entertainment devices.”
The Oticon Agil family of hearing solutions can accommodate approximately 80 percent of hearing losses. Users can choose from two discreet style options: a small mini behind-the-ear device that is almost invisible on the ear and a tiny CIC model that is worn completely in the ear canal.
For more information on hearing loss, hearing exams and the latest hearing solutions, contact Carla E. Pielmeier, Audiologist at 717-270-7812 or visit www.gsh.eb.org. (###)
For 120 years, the Good Samaritan Health System has served the health care needs of Lebanon County. The Good Samaritan Hospital is a modern, fully-equipped, fully-accredited 172-bed acute care facility that offers complete inpatient and outpatient care, as well as an inpatient rehabilitation program. The health system also provides services at many other sites located throughout Lebanon County.