Do you know that old saying. “Use it or lose it”. That applies to your brain if you have hearing loss. There have been many studies that show, that the better you hear, the better your brain works. Not to mention, the better you hear, the more you enjoy life!
A great article in Healthy Hearing, by Madeleine Burry, explains why untreated hearing loss is bad for your brain. When the brain is deprived of sounds for too long — such as with untreated hearing loss — the auditory pathways can weaken and atrophy, making it even harder to hear.
People aren’t aware of hearing loss, because it occurs slowly over a matter of years. The signs may be subtle—you keep having to turn the TV up, or you struggle to hear your grandkids. Even after diagnosis, people wait an average of 10 years to actually get the hearing aids that’ll help them hear better.
That’s a mistake that’s best avoided, since failing to treat hearing impairment can result in auditory deprivation—and over time, the parts of your brain responsible for hearing can shrink or atrophy from lack of use. Yes, you read that right: Brain shrinkage can occur if you don’t treat your hearing loss.
What is auditory deprivation?
Auditory deprivation occurs when your brain is deprived of sound, such as from untreated hearing loss. Over time, your brain loses the ability to process sound. If left untreated, the parts of the brain normally responsible for hearing get “reassigned” to other tasks. Those parts also tend to shrink or atrophy. It can affect anyone with hearing loss, not just severe cases.
Brain atrophy from untreated hearing loss
Remember: Hearing is a brain activity (sometimes referred to as “brain hearing”). Your ears deliver sound as electrical impulses via the auditory nerve, but it’s within your brain that these electrical impulses are translated into what we recognize as sound.
When fewer sounds make their way to the brain, the brain reacts by shifting how it operates.
Read the complete article by CLICKING HERE
We are here to help if you or a family member is having any difficulties with hearing, hearing aids, hearing aid apps or Tinnitus please give us a call at 727-323-2471 and set up an appointment.
We can help you.
Susan E. Terry, Au.D., F-AAA, F-NAP
Doctor of Audiology
P.S. We are here to help if you have any questions about your hearing, feel free to give us a call at 727-323-2471