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Are Hearing Loss And Brain Function Related?

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Are Hearing Loss And Brain Function Related?

Get A Hearing Test To Help You Use It (And Not Lose It)!

Thinking about hearing loss conjures up images of people leaning forward and turning their heads to the side, perhaps squinting a bit as they concentrate on where the sound there are trying to listen to is coming from. What’s difficult to see, and perhaps even unexpected, is the potential decrease in brain function. But this is what can happen if hearing loss is left untreated, and an excellent reason why everyone should consider getting a hearing test.

Researchers studying hearing loss and brain functioning have understood for some time that there was a link between the two. Basically, where you found one, there was a good chance that you’d find the other as well. What they are beginning to show now is that hearing loss appears to precede cognitive decline, causing researchers to consider whether hearing loss contributes to things like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a new review of research findings by Livingston and his colleagues (2017), hearing loss might contribute to cognitive decline in several ways. On the one hand, it might mean that our brain has to work harder to detect and interpret sounds, taking resources away from other things such as problem solving. On the other hand, it might cause us to become socially withdrawn, starving us of the interaction with others that provides stimulation. Without that stimulation, the brain starts to lose its edge.

A quick and painless test can help catch any hearing loss before this occurs. Hearing loss can be managed so that its impact on our day-to-day lives is minimal. What this means is that we can carry on interacting with others and exercising our brains, which in turn can stave off a reduction in brain function. When it comes to our brains, it really can be a case of use it or lose it! When you think about it, you’ve got nothing to lose by taking a hearing test, and a lot to lose by avoiding it.

For more information and a detailed discussion about how a hearing test can assist you or a family member, please contact our team or give us a call on (02) 8402 1202
Livingston, G., Somerlad, A., Orgeta, V., Costafreda, S. G., Huntley, J., Ames, D., … & Mukadam, N. (2017). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31363-6