How Hearing Loss can Lead to Brain Atrophy

Hearing Health Blog
You may have more cause to protect your hearing now than ever before. For years scientists have wondered if there was a more intricate link between the health of individuals and their ability to hear. Research on the subject has found that such a link exists, and a study was performed to discover the correlation between brain atrophy and hearing loss. In this article we will examine the study that was performed concerning hearing loss and brain shrinkage with emphasis on ways to protect your hearing for the future.

How Hearing Can Affect Health

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in a combined effort with the National Institute on Aging, performed the study that unveiled this latest health threat. They studied 126 people over a period of two decades, giving them physical exams as well as MRIs to track the effects that aging had upon their body. Through the study, they found that the people who reported having hearing loss were more likely to have shrinkage in their brain. They established the fact beforehand that there are acceptable levels of hearing loss in the aging population, but the observed amounts were far greater than expected.
Medical fact shows that a reduction in brain size is one of the primary mechanisms by which dementia and other cognitive disorders take place. The study continued and the researchers began to note that there was a positive correlation between brain atrophy and various levels of hearing loss. The people with hearing loss were said to have brains diminish in size at a much higher rate than ever expected. As a result, these people were much more likely to develop mental disorders such as memory loss and general dementia.
The results of the study were easily explained by known science. When the brain begins to suffer damage, it attempts to compensate for the losses by taking vital nutrients away from other areas to heal the damage. However, in doing so, it causes the shrinkage and atrophy in gray matter that sets off all of the other negative health effects. The study concluded that people should go more to protect their hearing.

Protecting Your Hearing

There are many simple ways to go about protecting your hearing levels. For example, people should avoid exposing themselves to loud noises, as well as moderate levels of noise over time. Another basic way that people can go about saving their hearing is to go to doctor’s appointments. They can track your hearing over time to establish patterns in order to detect hearing loss and changes. As a result, they will be able prescribe ways to help your hearing and then save your brain from atrophy. For people who already suffer hearing loss, the best thing to do is to continue to see your physician while also recording any sudden changes.

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