Music Fending Off Hearing Loss As We Get Older

It isn’t breaking news that as we get older our hearing deteriorates but new research does suggest a way to ward off hearing loss. Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University suggests that embracing music early in life can help.

It looks like all the time that musicians spend interacting with sound has also helped their auditory system. Nina Kraus, director of Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, says that musicians “nervous system has made lots of sound-to-meaning connections” strengthening their auditory system.

Kraus found that musicians’ attention on notes and tonal qualities also made younger musicians superior in their hearing than non-musicians. This led for Kraus to explore the possibility that musical training could help ward off age-related hearing loss.

The results, musicians were 40% better than non-musicians to tune out background noise and hearing the sentence!

So if you are a musician, don’t stop playing and for us non-musicians it’s time to pick up an instrument.


The full story from NPR
The full Research Article from PLoS One