CBS Family Discusses Hearing Loss And How To Recognize And Treat The Issue

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Darrell J. Cunningham and Dr. Cherukuri discuss hearing loss, particularly in older individuals. Dr. Cherukuri highlights early signs of hearing loss, such as increased television volume, frequent requests for repetition, and incorrect responses in conversations, attributing these issues primarily to high-frequency hearing loss.

To assist, he recommends hearing tests and considers hearing aids or assistive listening devices as potential solutions. Dr. Cherukuri introduces a less intrusive alternative, personal assistive listening devices, which are simpler and less of a commitment than traditional hearing aids.

He also discusses the prevalence of hearing loss with age and its potential impacts on quality of life, including increased risks of cognitive decline and social isolation. The conversation emphasizes the importance of addressing hearing loss to improve quality of life and maintain social connections, particularly as one ages.

Transcript:

Darrell J. Cunningham: Hearing loss isn’t something you necessarily notice right away, but there are some signs that you can look out for, especially for your parents or older relatives. Dr. Cherukuri is joining us this morning. Thank you so much for being here, doctor.

Dr Cherukuri: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

Darrell J. Cunningham: Doctor, What are some early signs that we should be looking out for?

Dr Cherukuri: Some of the earliest signs of hearing loss in your family members could be that the TV is really loud or they’re constantly asking you to repeat some things or they might be answering the wrong question.

Darrell J. Cunningham: And why is that?

Dr Cherukuri: So when they have some high frequency hearing loss, they can’t hear the consonants like the S’s or the F’s. So words get jumbled and they don’t really know how to respond. Sometimes they simply nod when that’s not an appropriate response.

Darrell J. Cunningham: And How do we assist them with that to help them?

Dr Cherukuri: So a really good idea is to get them a hearing test and see where the levels of hearing are. And then after that, it’s an important thing to think about is would they be a candidate for a hearing aid or an other assistive listening device?

Darrell J. Cunningham: In today’s day and age, a lot of people do not like to admit that they might be losing their hearing. Are there some ways that we can kind of introduce them into it in a kind way to get them to get tested and maybe get them fitted for hearing

Dr Cherukuri: aid? You are correct that hearing aids have been around a long time and people don’t necessarily feel like they’re an ideal solution. So what we have today is some new technology called personal assistive listening devices. I’m actually wearing 1 right now. It’s more in the shape of a headphone, but It’s an FDA registered assistive listening device, very easy to use. You put it on almost like reading glasses when you wanna hear something and take it off when you don’t wanna hear something. It’s a very easy, simple way to get people thinking about hearing loss and seeing

Dr Cherukuri: the benefits of hearing amplification before they jump into something more of a commitment like full-time hearing aids.

Darrell J. Cunningham: And doctor, is there a normal level of hearing loss for people of different ages?

Dr Cherukuri: So the statistics do show as we get older, the percentage of hearing loss increases and it is part of aging but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer and have your quality of life affected. But the numbers are a third of people over 65 have hearing loss and it goes up to 85 percent of people over the age of 85 have hearing loss that could be improved with a hearing aid or an assistive listening device like this ClearCast.

Darrell J. Cunningham: And, how do we start having those conversations with our mom and dad or older relatives?

Dr Cherukuri: It is a little tricky because people don’t want to admit that they’ve lost some of their senses or their independence, but I think it’s really important to help them understand the quality of life benefits that they can engage in conversations, they can hear their kids or their grandkids. The TV can be at a much lower volume with a device like the Clearcast. Also, sometimes it helps to explain that, you know, there’s a higher risk of Alzheimer dementia, cognitive decline, social isolation, depression, dementia, if we continue to ignore this. So you really have to read the person

Dr Cherukuri: and different facts, like I just stated, might be motivating to different people. But I think the take home point is in their mind they might be thinking they need to get a hearing aid but now we have different technology and form factor choices like this Clearcast.

Darrell J. Cunningham: And doctor, you’re doing some amazing work. What is this 1 of the things that you love most about the things that you’re doing?

Dr Cherukuri: So the most important thing as we get older is quality of life and a lot of people forget that. Hearing loss is something that sneaks up on you so you don’t really know what you’re missing but some of these stories we get from people we’ve helped and changed lives, it’s actually very satisfying that we can help them reengage and tune into their family and their conversations.

Darrell J. Cunningham: Dr. Cherukuri, thank you so much.

Dr Cherukuri: Thank you so much for covering this important topic. Thanks for watching!

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