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Brain Shrinkage and Age Related Hearing Loss

Age related hearing loss is a condition experienced by a great number of elderly people. Diminished hearing abilities affect quality of life and make communication with other people more difficult but can they also lead to further negative changes in the brain’s functions?

A recent study, published in the online journal NeuroImage, suggests that older adults suffering from hearing loss may also experience faster brain shrinkage. Of course, as a person gets older a certain decline in their mental abilities will probably be considered a normal event, which can be caused by a variety of circumstances. On the other hand, it sounds logical to believe that if you do not actively use those parts of the brain responsible for speech and sound processing, due to hearing damage, they may begin to fall into decay faster than usual. It is also very important to note that these brain regions have several other responsibilities connected with the process of memorising and dealing with information. Therefore their decreased capacity might have a negative influence over general mental health.

This matter is yet to be explored in a deeper and profound way, but the scientists who conducted the study proposed an even more interesting suggestion – whether treating hearing loss can delay the signs of dementia. This is a very important topic, as many people tend to live with minor or medium levels of hearing loss without taking active steps to improve their condition until it begins to cause significant impact on life quality. Knowing that neglecting your hearing can also lead to negative effects on your memory, can put a further stress on the importance of regularly checking your hearing and taking accurate measures in time. However, the connection between hearing loss and brain shrinkage is yet to be proved and will be subject to further and more detailed studies. It does suggest however, that keeping a regular check on one’s hearing health could well have a positive impact on other aspects of general health. As a start, it is easy to go through an online hearing test that will give you an indication as to your current condition and will bring your attention to potential problems. Of course, visiting an audiologist once a year for a regular check is one of the best things you can do for you hearing. In the event of hearing loss being discovered a specialist will be able to guide you with professional advice on any possible treatment or to choosing a suitable hearing aid.

At Hearing Direc you can find many devices, produced by some of the most renowned manufacturers. Phonak, for example, offer a variety of hearing aids of different formats (BTE, ITE, RIC, etc.), which are known for their exceptional level of performance – Phonak Audeo Q, Phonak Virto, Phonak Bolero, etc. Widex, is another well-known brand, whose Dream and Clear ranges have improved the life of many hearing impaired. Siemens, especially their Pure range, is also an excellent option for those looking for performance and quality.

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