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A Personal Message from Dr. Nancy Duncan, Founder of Duncan Hearing Healthcare

If you have a patient that is experiencing hearing challenges, tinnitus concerns or balance issues, then this page shares the resources and tools that you need to assist them.

However, if you cannot find what you need or if you need any further help, then please know that our team are always here for you at (508) 674-3334

Thank you for all you do.

Articles: The Connection Between Untreated Hearing Loss and Dementia

In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D, and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.

Would You Like to Refer a Patient? Simply Complete This Form

If you have a patient that requires further help, then you can refer them by using this simple form. We’ll be able to help them to explore their insurance benefits and comprehensively test their hearing before sharing our reccomendations with them.

Tinnitus Triage Guidelines

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Why We Incorporate Cognitive Screenings as Part of Our Audiological Evaluation

Cognition-Hearing Interrelationship

Increasing evidence has linked age-related hearing loss with more rapid progression of cognitive decline and incidental dementia.  Recent literature indicates that individuals with hearing loss have a 55% greater risk of developing dementia as compared to those with normal hearing, and it increases linearly with the severity of hearing loss.  Long-term hearing deprivation of auditory inputs can impact cognitive performance by decreasing the quality of communication, leading to social isolation and depression which may facilitate dementia.  And from the efferent perspective, limited cognitive skills may reduce the cognitive resources available for auditory perception, increasing the effects of hearing loss. 

Auditory Rehabilitation

Cognitive factors such as attention, listening effort, memory, multi-sensory integration and prediction, play a role in helping code sounds more easily, and compensate for poorly resolved bottom up sensory cues that may be due to hearing in noise or hearing loss.  As our patient’s hearing loss progresses and their cognitive ability declines, a stronger onus is placed on our efferent nervous system to help with language understanding. 

This influences the particular hearing devices we fit and how we fit them.  Processing speed, the amount of compression, and other factors that alter the signal become important considerations, especially for our patients with low working memory capacity.  Additionally, when there is a degree of cognitive impairment present, we need to develop aural rehabilitation strategies for the patient and provide support that goes beyond fitting hearing devices.

How We Conduct Cognitive Screenings

For the cognitive portion of our audiological evaluation, we use the Cognivue Thrive device, which is the only computerized cognitive assessment device based on FDA-cleared technology used by neurologists and other physicians for cognitive evaluation.  The Cognivue Thrive device utilizes adaptive psychophysics to eliminate bias and adapt to the patients motor and vision acuity abilities.  It is used for cognition screening and is not a diagnostic tool.  You can learn more about the Cognivue Thrive device at www.cognivue.com/physician.

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Would You Like to Schedule a Zoom Meeting With Our Team of Experts?

If you would like help with a specific patient or would like us to run a workshop to help you and your staff better understand how we can support patients with tinnitus challenges, sudden hearing loss concerns or any form of hearing help, then we’re here to help. We can schedule a Zoom call at a convenient time around your busy schedule.

Hearing Health Resources

Our Experts Answer The Most Common Questions

How to Help Your Patients with Tinnitus Challenges

How to Help Your Patients with Tinnitus Challenges

One of the most frustrating things for any healthcare professional is knowing your patient is suffering and not being able to do anything to “fix” their problem. It’s in your nature to want to help improve their situation. One symptom that falls into this category is...

What Happens at a Pediatric Hearing Test?

What Happens at a Pediatric Hearing Test?

Are you a parent of a child who has difficulty hearing what you say to them?  Do they misinterpret what is being said to them?  Do they struggle in school, or do their teachers feel they do not follow instructions?  Is their language delayed? Maybe your child has...