Music and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a part of aging for many people. As we grow older we lose inner ear sensory receptors or “hair cells.” These hair cells help send signals to the brain that are later translated into sound. What can we do to prevent hearing damage or reduce the likelihood of this occurring?
According to the director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, Nina Kraus, “If you spend a lot of your life interacting with sound in an active manner, then your nervous system has made lots of sound-to-meaning connections.”
To test this theory, she enlisted the help of middle-aged musicians and non-musicians from 45 to 65 years of age. The groups were told sentences in a noisy environment. The results of the study showed “the musicians were 40 percent better than non-musicians at tuning out background noise and hearing the sentences.”
If you have some musical background, continuing to expose yourself to music might help protect hearing health. If you have recently noticed you’re having a hard time making out sentences in a noisy environment, it is important to visit a Miami Hearing Center. An audiologist will be able to diagnose your level of hearing loss and help treat it accordingly.