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Hearing Restoration Preserves Brain Health

Did you know that a decline in your hearing affects more than just your ability to access sound? Hearing loss stands as a significant global concern, impacting approximately 466 million individuals worldwide, with projections expecting this figure to soar to 630 million by 2030. Left untreated, it can lead to profound consequences such as social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline, as the brain's auditory processing regions become underutilized.

Here are some practical steps to safeguard both our auditory capabilities and brain health.

1. Regular Hearing Tests: Just as we prioritize routine check-ups for our physical health, regular hearing tests are crucial for early detection and treatment of hearing loss. Your physician will guide you on how often you’ll need a hearing test.

2. Protective Hearing Gear: Use earplugs or protective headphones when exposed to loud environments such as concerts or construction sites to prevent noise-induced damage.

3. Monitor Device Volume: Maintain comfortable volume levels on devices like TVs and mobile phones to minimize noise exposure.

Hearing aids can be very helpful for amplifying sound. For those who no longer benefit from traditional hearing aids or have hearing loss in just one ear, cochlear implants may be an option. These amazing little electronic devices are implanted into the inner ear (the cochlea) to restore hearing.

At Pacific Neuroscience Institute, our Cochlear Implant Program caters to people of all ages. In addition, our Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP) refurbishes donated devices to support individuals with limited resources, ensuring access to essential hearing care.

If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing difficulty, embrace the journey towards improved hearing by scheduling a test with your doctor. Protecting our hearing is not just about preserving sound; it's about nurturing a brighter, clearer tomorrow for ourselves and those around us.

By Courtney Voelker, MD, PhD and Rebecca Lewis, AuD

• Courtney Voelker, MD, PhD, is a Rhodes Scholar, neurotologist, and otolaryngology – head & neck surgeon at Pacific Neuroscience Institute®. She specializes in adult and pediatric cochlear implant surgery for hearing restoration, offering expert, compassionate care to all her patients.

• Rebecca Lewis, AuD, is an audiologist and the Audiology Director of the Adult & Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at PNI. She is dedicated to serving the community using a whole patient approach with evidenced-based, individualized care. Call

at 213-320-4277.

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