Hearing Loss Linked To Cognitive Decline

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Hearing loss is one of those conditions that most people write off as a normal part of ageing. It’s met with a shrug… after all, what can you really do about it?

However, if you find that you’ve actually stopped listening because you’re having more and more trouble hearing, it can actually be the first sign of a very dangerous spiral.

Hearing and the brain connection

Asking people to speak up or repeat themselves can be tiring and very annoying. Before long, you just decide not to bother. However, over time, poor hearing can lead to social isolation. And that doesn’t just mean missing church or giving up a game of Bingo.

However, it’s not just a social issue, it’s a potentially devastating health crisis that can and should be addressed as quickly as possible.

In a recent study, researchers at Johns Hopkins investigated MRI results and other medical data collected from a long, ongoing ageing study and found that participants who started out the study with poor hearing lost a significant amount of brain tissue over 10 years compared with those who had normal hearing.

Even worse, this brain volume decline occurred in areas of the brain that process memory, among other things. So ? no surprise ? the shrinking of these areas is common in cognitive impairment and dementia.

Now, the question is: Does reduced brain volume cause hearing loss, or does diminished hearing prompt brain shrinkage?

The researchers believe it’s the latter. Their results suggest that when the stimulus to the brain drops off with less input from hearing, the brain responds by shutting down those unused areas that process sound.

The moment you start noticing that your hearing isn’t what it used to be, it’s time to take action because changes in your brain structure can’t be reversed. In other words, once your brain tissue starts shrinking there’s no way of undoing the damage.

Of course, the mainstream will tell you that the only way to combat your hearing loss is by getting an expensive hearing aid. But there are other alternatives that you may want to discuss with your doctor first, like supplementing with Gingko Biloba. Some alternative health practitioners have also had success restoring hearing in older patients by naturally bumping up low levels of a hormone called aldosterone with the help of bio-identical hormone treatment.


Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss (hopkinsmedicine.org)

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