Hearing health affects more than just one’s ability to receive sound to be aware of surroundings and to communicate. Hearing loss can have a profound effect on relationships, emotional health and professional life. Researchers have recently found that hearing can affect brainpower.
Studies have found that a loss of hearing can actually cause parts of the brain to weaken. One study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine pointed to declining hearing ability accelerating brain atrophy in certain areas of the brain. It also indicated an increase in the effort needed to listen in order to understand speech successfully in older adults. Apparently, the lack of audio stimulation can actually reduce brain matter.
Research was conducted on adults between the ages of 60 and 77 years old. In a pair of studies, functional MRI scans were compared. The results showed that participants with some loss of hearing showed less brain activity while listening to complex sentences, than those with normal hearing. Those with decreased hearing ability also showed less gray matter in the auditory cortex of their brain, implying that the sections of the brain dedicated to auditory processing may atrophy with the decline of hearing ability.
The results reinforce the idea that keeping hearing intact is essential to keeping the brain healthy. Even mild hearing loss is enough to have an effect. Treating hearing problems early is essential to prevent problems with communication and understanding. If a hearing deficit is left untreated for too long, it seems the consequence could be quite damaging.
Sandia Hearing Center knows that hearing loss can influence a person in many ways. It can affect relationships, emotional health and cognitive functioning. Treatment of decreased hearing ability with hearing aids can amplify sound, improve communication and improve quality of life in general. They may also help keep the brain healthy.
If your hearing is concerning you, call Sandia Hearing Center to set up a hearing evaluation. Regular hearing checkups are important. Sandia Hearing Center is here to meet all your hearing needs with testing, new hearing aids and repair services. Call us at 719-594-2095.