Our brain requires engagement and interaction for continued productivity. It is the main regulator of all the functions we need to survive and thrive. Without a well operating brain the processes from breath to vision to memory would collapse. One of our most necessary functions, which is our sense of hearing, depends upon its health. The complex process of hearing requires us to understand how to support this 3lb organ’s continual and optimal functioning. First we need to have a better understanding about the connection between our hearing and the brain.
From the outer ear to the inner ear there are many working parts of the process that assure sound information reaches the auditory cortex. The cortex is connected to the brain and once it receives the audio waves traveling from the ear it can then translate the information into sounds that we understand.
The complex process that form the neural pathways that recognize and interpret sound are totally dependant upon the ear receiving and transmitting sound without disruption,
Once the process is negatively impacted in any way the brain then receives distorted and thereby, incorrect information.
As the multifaceted needs of the hearing process are compromised we then start to suffer from hearing loss. It can be exhibited slowly over time or abruptly after a damaging event such as a car crash or exposure to high decibel sounds like gunfire.
At this point the brain is now not receiving the information necessary for natural sound perception. An automatic response is to compensate by the regular hearing parts of the brain to attend to other functions. As the once well traveled neural pathways degenerate from lack of use we begin to experience “atrophy”. That is correct, it is parallel to the lack of use of our regular muscles when we ignore physical activity!
What we can and should do!
First and foremost if you are suffering from any symptoms of hearing loss, make an effort to get a comprehensive assessment. Hearing loss can be very subtle as mentioned earlier so here are 5 things to take note of:
- Problem following conversation when there is background noise
- Increasing difficulty communicating on the phone
- Constantly asking people to repeat themselves
- Common sounds like the phone ringing, alarms, doorbells no longer register
- Needing to face people when speaking to read more visual clues and body language
It is quite natural for people that are hard of hearing to compensate by looking for more visual information to supplement in the absence of natural and full sound acquisition.
By taking the initiative to get a consultation you will be ahead of the game!
The auditory deprivation that the brain suffers compounds itself if we leave our hearing condition untreated.
In addition, people experiencing hearing impairment often confuse it with cognitive decline.
Statistically speaking most people wait between 7 to 10 years AFTER incurring some form of hearing loss.
Cause and effect
Working in tandem with your hearing health specialist ownership of your overall health and the ability to change and alleviate symptoms of hearing loss become navigable.
In best case scenarios the joy of a fuller hearing experience can again be the new normal.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us for further information or support on your path to your auditory wellness. Contact us today!