How Does Hearing Loss Affect the Brain?

Experiencing hearing loss can significantly affect your quality of life. It changes how you communicate with people and it can also affect some of your favorite habits. To say that losing your sense of hearing can be life-changing is by no means an exaggeration.

Still, you may not be fully aware of how hearing loss can affect you. You may not realize that hearing loss can adversely affect your brain.

In this article, we’ll discuss the specific ways that your brain is affected by hearing loss. Stay tuned so you can better understand why hearing care is health care.

Hearing Loss Could Lead to Brain Atrophy

We take for granted just how well our ears do their job. Stay inside any random room and you’ll pick up on all kinds of ambient noises. If you’re in an especially quiet room, your ears may be able to detect even the faintest noises.

The part of our brain that processes sound has to do a lot of work throughout any given day. That’s a good thing because that means it receives constant stimulation.

What happens if that part of your brain no longer has sounds to process? According to researchers, the region of our brain that processes sound has an increased risk of atrophying if we have hearing loss.

Hearing loss and cognition are connected that way. If the portion of your brain that handles sound processing atrophies, that could lead to serious complications down the line. You may be more at risk for developing dementia if you suffer from hearing loss.

Keeping your hearing healthy is crucial to preserving brain health. Don’t forget the link between the two.

Hearing Loss Could Lead to Isolation

Upon realizing that your hearing is starting to go, you may become more hesitant to interact with others. You may figure that isolation is preferable to experiencing constant hearing struggles when you are around other people.

It’s important to note that the aforementioned approach can be bad for your brain. A lack of social interaction can cause brain deterioration. You can effectively increase your risk for dementia by avoiding social interactions.

Hearing Loss Could Affect How Well You Balance Yourself

Hearing loss can also have an impact on how well you stay balanced. At first, that may seem like a strange side effect of hearing loss, but it makes more sense once you understand the vestibular system.

The vestibular system is found in the inner ear and it sends signals to the brain. Those signals are processed by the brain before being sent to other parts of the body. The signals sent by the brain are then used by the different parts of the body to determine what position they need to be in.

Simply put, those signals are helpful for maintaining balance. Unfortunately, hearing loss can mute those signals.

Once your hearing starts to go, you may also experience greater difficulty when trying to balance yourself. Your brain may have to work harder to interpret those signals and that can affect your sense of balance.

Hearing loss can have a significant impact on the health of your brain. As soon as you start to notice your hearing deteriorate, you should seek treatment to mitigate the negative effects it can have on your life. Hearing care is health care, so be proactive in addressing any hearing loss you experience.