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Noise Induced Hearing Loss Decreases Brain Function.

If the problems of noise induced hearing loss are not traumatic enough for an ageing individual reaching or having just taken retirement, recent research has found that...

PRLog - Jan. 24, 2012 - MANCHESTER, U.K. -- If the problems of noise induced hearing loss are not traumatic enough for an ageing individual reaching or having just taken retirement, recent research has found that reduced hearing ability may also hasten the decline of grey matter density in the auditory areas of the brain.

As a result,  a greater demand is placed on older adults to listen more carefully in their efforts to understand spoken conversation.

Around 1 in 6 of the UK population possess some form of hearing loss, with 1.1 million people in the 16 - 49 age group, nearly four million aged between 16 to 64, and over 40 per cent are 50 years old and above.

Also, it has been estimated that there could at least 150,000 adults in the UK who have acquired profound  hearing loss (APHL), more commonly known as industrial deafness, caused by sustained exposure to excessive noise levels causing irreversible hearing damage over a long term period in the workplace.

Research using MRI scans has revealed that those aged over 60 with hearing loss showed less brain activity when listening to complex sentences and less grey matter in the auditory cortex. The results suggest that when hearing ability declines, auditory processing areas of the brain also shows increased degeneration.

Usually, when one of the sensory functions such as taste, smell, sight or hearing is altered, the brain is able to reorganise and compensate. However, it is now known that hearing ability directly affects how the brain processes sounds, including speech, and hearing sensitivity has further consequences for the neural processes supporting both perception and cognition.

Unfortunately, many former and present employees in occupations where excessive noise levels are a daily occurrence, can be unaware of a slowly decreasing ability to hear distinctly. Those workers who complain they experience tinnitus, are more likely to realise that their hearing has changed as a constant ringing or buzzing sound could, in some instances, be the first symptoms of more serious hearing damage. Tinnitus, however, can fade away after a short period of time.

Studies show that up to ten years might elapse before a noise induced hearing loss reaches a critical stage before seeking hearing loss advice or a hearing test is finally undertaken.

Some estimates state there are over 170,000 undiagnosed hearing loss conditions in the UK and it is  predicted that over 14 million people will succumb to hearing loss within the next 20 years.

Visit http://www.hearinglossadvice.co.uk for more information and advice.

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Offering clear information, advice and FAQ's on hearing loss and industrial related deafness.

Visit http://www.hearinglossadvice.co.uk for more information and advice.

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Source:Hearing Loss Advice (Daren Bach)
Location:Manchester - Manchester - United Kingdom
Industry:Medical, Health, Government
Tags:hearing loss advice, noise induced hearing loss, hearing loss, industrial deafness, hearing damage
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