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Why Your Hearing Gets Worse As You Age

Nov 21, 2013 Why Your Hearing Gets Worse As You Age

Researchers have made a new discovery that can help us learn more about how – and why – hearing changes as we age. Read more to find out what it is…

Our inner ear contains stiff hair cells that transmit electrical signals to our brains. These signals are what allow us to hear sounds. Those 30,000 hair cells in the inner ear are important for capturing and transmitting sound, and as they bend side to side, they work in tandem to help us hear clearly.

Softening Hair Cells Diminish Hearing

Researchers at Karolinska University in Stokholm have been studying these hair cells, and have found that as people age, these hair cells become soft. When the hair cells soften, the electrical impulses can’t travel down the cells as efficiently, and the impulses weaken. As the impulses get weaker, the sounds that reach the brain are weaker or softer.

Hair Cells Soften With Age

University researchers hypothesized that as people get older, changes to the protein structure of the hairs in the inner ear are what cause the hairs to soften. Knowing this, researchers can take on the task of how to keep the protein in the hair cells from changing, so that the hair cells stay stiff and continue to transmit impulses to the brain effectively.

The Technology For Better Hearing Is Available Now

This research is very exciting, but still in its early stages. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait for better hearing. Our experienced audiologists can test your hearing, and fit you with the perfect hearing aids for your lifestyle. You don’t have to wait for the research – the technology for better hearing is available for you now.

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