There are more reasons than ever before to consider doing more to save your hearing. While there are numerous benefits to keeping your hearing health for practical reasons, it appears that your hearing is more intricately attached to your overall health than ever before. In particular, it appears that the brain can suffer from extensive damage as the result of hearing loss. Here we will explore the study that led to this revelation as well as ways that people can go about protecting their hearing over the long term.
Protect Your Hearing
There are some very easy ways to go about saving your hearing ability. The first thing that everyone can do is to reduce the amount of time that you spend in a loud environment. The second thing that each person can do to save their hearing is to see a doctor on a regular basis. They will be able to track your hearing over time to see if there are any changes while also coming up with plans to increase your hearing ability to prevent brain atrophy. If you already suffer from hearing loss, it is still important to see your doctor to log in any sudden changes in your hearing.
Hearing And Brain Health
The study that was performed to link overall health and hearing loss was first completed by Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging. They performed health physicals and MRIs on a group of 126 volunteers over the course of two decades. They realized that people with reported hearing loss tended to have smaller brain sizes than their non-loss counterparts. Some forms of hearing loss are common and expected as a person ages, but the rates in the study were found to be much greater than usual.
The medical community has established that decreases in brain size are directly responsible for dementia and other mental disabilities. The research continued and the doctors found a positive correlation between hearing impairment and brain shrinkage. Essentially, they discovered that people with hearing loss had a greater incidence and degree of brain atrophy than all others. All of these individuals were at a much greater risk for brain atrophy than people without hearing loss.
There is a medical precedent for the observations that were made during the study. Any time that the brain has damage done to it, such as that present during hearing loss, it attempts to compensate for the damage by having a large influx of nutrients, blood, and oxygen. This robs other parts of the brain of its ability to thrive, and it decreases in size. This results in brain atrophy and higher rates of dementia and cognitive disabilities. The researchers recommended that people go to greater lengths to save their hearing.