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Just as unused muscles shrink in size, unused portions of the brain may also be subject to shrinkage. Although the brain becomes smaller with age, new research shows that brain shrinkage is accelerated among older adults with hearing loss. Previous research showed that hearing loss among humans and other animals was linked with smaller information-processing structures in the brain. However, it wasn’t known whether these structural differences occurred before or after hearing loss. The most recent research shows that hearing loss accelerates rates of brain atrophy compared to those with normal hearing. Hearing loss was also associated with those areas of the brain (including the superior, middle, and inferior temporal gyri) responsible for processing sound and speech.

If you have a hearing impairment, you are missing more than just the understanding of words. Hearing keeps you in touch with the world, lets you respond to sound, and reassures you of changing surroundings. After the age of 50, a regular hearing test should be considered as important as a yearly physical checkup. The Ear Clinic offers comprehensive hearing services by Meaford and area’s only doctor of audiology at 46 Nelson Street W., across from the LCBO, including hearing, tinnitus and balance evaluations, ear wax removal, custom fittings, prescription and fitting of a full range of hearing instruments and accessories, follow-up support, and repairs. Hear the sounds of your life—call us at 226-909-0966.

P.S. The study mentioned above provides a clear indication that it is better to address hearing loss sooner rather than later.

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