Our brain and how we hear.

Hearing loss is a gradual process and usually happens over a period of years. It is sneaky and we often don’t realize how far it has gone until it has gotten greater than a mild loss. The leading causes of hearing loss are ageing and excessive and prolonged exposure to noise; however, there are many other reasons that could cause a hearing loss.

Most people suffer from the sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there is actual nerve damage which is located in the inner ear. Whether the nerves have bent or broken, damaged nerves are not stimulated by sound around you and so they don’t send a signal to the brain. When the hearing centre of the brain is not stimulated, it leads to shrinkage of brain tissue. When the nerves are not being stimulated by sounds around you it leads to auditory deprivation.

Nerve damage is not reversible. However, by using hearing aids, we can change the way sound is sent into the ear and on to the brain where hearing actually happens and this can improve the quality of our hearing. Doing this can significantly slow the progression of damage that causes hearing loss. It also means reactivating the hearing centers in the brain, keeping it active and reducing or stopping the shrinkage of the tissue.

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