It would be a lie to say that most people actually dislike listening to music, right? Many of us listen to our music at dB levels that are harmful to our hearing - and we don't even realize it!
Our brain works hard to process sounds and react to noises; so when we are listening to anything - whether it is music, a conversation, a movie, a lecture - we are forcing our brains to exercise. A study at Ohio State University was recently conducted that found that healthy young people use the left side of their brains to process language; the right side of their brains does not necessarily need to start working to process varying sounds until the age of 50. However, any young person aged 18 - 41 who had even the slightest amount of hearing loss needed the right side of their brain to assist in processing sounds.
Now, how does all of this tie in to an outcome of dementia? Recent imaging studies centered around age-related hearing loss have shown that your brain struggles to compensate when it does not receive as much auditory input as it used to. In layman's terms, hearing loss can weaken important hearing centers in your brain. It has been shown that older adults who struggle with hearing loss, both consciously and subconsciously, begin to withdraw from social settings due to their struggle with communicating properly and hearing others. This withdraw from social settings leads to social isolation and loneliness - both of which have been linked to adverse mental outcomes - dementia being one of them.
So, next time you put your headphones in and start listening to a song that you love, be conscious of the volume of your music. An easy way to determine if your music is too loud is to remove your headphones - if you can hear the music coming out of them when they are removed from your ears, the volume is too loud! Another way to combat early hearing loss is to bring ear plugs with you to concerts.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from hearing loss in any capacity, give us a call. (888) 574-6776.