It turns out that everyone may wish to go to greater lengths in order to preserve their hearing well into old age. After all, there is new evidence that suggests that you health depends more upon your hearing than previously imagined. This comes after a study has found a correlation between overall brain health and hearing loss. We will explore this study in the context of the study, and then relay advice on how to keep your hearing safeguarded throughout life.
How Hearing Affects The Brain
The study that revealed this new information was completed by a joint effort of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and The National Institute on Aging. They had a sample size of 126 individuals who they brought in for annual screening such as routine physicals as well as MRIs. This study was completed over a period of almost two decades, using the same participants. The researchers found that there was a correlation between the overall size of the brains observed and hearing loss. It is well-established that brains shrink with age, and that this is a primary factor in forms of dementia and diminished mental abilities.
The study revealed that there was a positive link between brain shrinkage and patients with hearing loss. The study revealed that people who hearing damage had also had their brain shrink at a considerably faster rate than individuals with a normal hearing threshold. Essentially, the study found that people with hearing loss are at a much higher risk for brain atrophy than others, which can result in various forms of neurological degeneration.
This occurrence was able to be explained as a normal function of the brain, gone awry. When the brain senses that there is damage to a specific area, it attempts to compensate for the loss which results in heavy damage to the grey matter. This, in turn, results in shrinkage of the brain, and typically results in ailments such as dementia. The researchers concluded that people of all ages should take greater steps to ensure that they have healthy hearing throughout their lives.
Protecting Your Ability To Hear
One of the most basic things that an individual can do in order to protect their hearing is to go to regular meetings with their primary care physician. Using your records as well as continuous measurements of your fluctuations in your hearing, your doctor will be able to catch any potential changes and help minimize any potential damage. The researchers from Johns Hopkins highly recommended that people who already suffer from hearing loss take additional steps to track their hearing with their doctor to ensure that they are doing everything to prevent further losses. These check-ups can be the difference between a high and low quality of life as you age.