As many as 20 percent of the United States’ population experiences some degree of hearing loss, making it the third most common chronic condition in our nation. When left untreated, hearing loss has can lead to the development of other serious conditions, including depression, heightened anxiety and a decline in cognitive function. Because hearing loss cannot be cured, it is important to take preventative measure to protect your auditory health. If you’ve been engaging in regular physical fitness, you might already have a leg up. Research conducted at the University of Florida has shown that exercise has helped to prevent the onset of age-related hearing loss in mice.
Of the most common hearing loss causes is the age-related deterioration of the auditory system. This form of hearing loss occurs gradually over many years as the result of damage to delicate hair cells and other parts in the auditory system. This condition affects approximately 70 perceent of individuals over 69 years of age, making it one of the most common conditions impacting seniors.
In order to maintain a healthy auditory system, it needs to be well oxygenated. The effects of oxygen on our hearing is one of the aspects studied by the researchers at University of Florida. Using two groups of mice, one with access to an exercise wheel and one without, the research team examined the impacts of a sedentary lifestyle on the rodents.
Their study suggests that age-related inflammation results in damage to the the cells of the auditory system, a factor the active group were able to reduce by about 50 percent. The active group also had a much lower rate of auditory damage and, while the sedentary mice experienced hearing loss at a rate of about 20 percent, only 5 percent of the active group had an impairment.
The scientific community is hopeful that this study may also be applicable to humans. The National Institutes of Health is undertaking a research initiative to explore which molecules released during exercise may help maintain auditory health.
Though there is still more to learn about the relationship between exercise and hearing preservation, there are precautions you can take to ensure you are able to maintain your hearing health. For starters, audiology experts recommend receiving an annual hearing test. If an impairment is found, hearing aids can help protect against the further deterioration of your auditory ability. To find a provider of hearing aids in Tyler, speak with our team at 903-592-5601 today!