There are more reasons than ever to begin doing more to protect your hearing as you begin to age. Of course, hearing at a regular level has many of its own benefits, but not there has been significant ties established between hearing and your overall health. There has been a higher level of speculation into whether or not the human brain can suffer additional damage as the individual begins losing their hearing. This article will examine the study that was recently completed and the conclusions that were made regarding this subject as well as ways to help protect your hearing into old age.
How To Protect Your Hearing
The very first way that you can go about protecting your hearing as you age is going to see a doctor. They will be able to establish a baseline level for your hearing so that they can see if there are any significant changes. Also, you will be able to report any sudden changes in your health and have a complete set of records to examine. For individuals who have hearing loss already, it is still important to see a doctor and check your hearing regularly. If there are any changes in hearing or brain function, a treatment can be outlined.
How Hearing Can Affect Your Brain
The study that brought all of this information to light was performed by Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with The National Institute on Aging. They gave a group of 126 individuals regularly scheduled MRIs as well as physical examinations. They found that there was a growing link between people who reported hearing loss and the size of their brains as found by the MRIs. The study revealed that there was a positive correlation between brain size and hearing loss.
Within the medical community, it is known that brain atrophy and shrinkage is one of the primary causes of dementia as well as a variety of other cognitive disorders. The researchers eventually examined their data and made the conclusion that individuals with hearing loss had premature brain atrophy and shrinkage. This left all of the patients at a greater risk for brain damage and disorders such as dementia.
The results of this study and the published findings were all able to be explained by current medical knowledge. When the brain suffers damage, like the type that is present from hearing loss, it begins to siphon nutrients, blood, and oxygen from other parts of the brain. This leads to other parts of the brain’s grey matter not receiving enough of these vital nutrients to thrive. This part of the brain atrophies and shrinks, leaving brain damage and cognitive impairment in its wake.