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New Study Says Noise Sensitivity is Dependent on Your Brain

Friday, February 3, 2017 9:25:35 AM Australia/Melbourne

New Study Says Noise Sensitivity is Dependent on Your BrainEver wondered why noises around you impact you so much more heavily than neighbors or friends? Don’t they hear those noises and find them as annoying as you do? Perhaps not. Scientific Reports, which is a publication by Nature, has recently shared that noise sensitivity may be more personal than previously thought. In fact, the level of disturbance that we undergo when we hear day-to-day noises could be directly correlated with the way that our brains process variations in the sound stream. This study, which you can find in Scientific Reports, is titled “Noise Sensitivity” or “NS.”


The study looks at different groups, including noise sensitive individuals and non-sensitive individuals. Those who are noise-sensitive are more heavily impacted by the adverse effects related to noise. These include cardiovascular disease and impaired cognitive skills. The fact that individuals who are particularly averse to noise are also susceptible to other side effects, isn’t necessary new news. In fact, previously, this was just determined to be rooted in the genetic profile of those impacted. The slight shift in this study, is that noise sensitivity levels are actually rooted in our sound streams, or the way that our brains process variations of noise and sound.


This study is supported by researchers at multiple education facilities, including Aarhus University and the University of Helsinki. We recommend that you check out the article “A Window Into the Brain Mechanisms Associated with Noise Sensitivity,” for more information. In summary, this work dives deeper into how the brain processes sound. Noise sensitive group members find it more difficult to understand changes in a sound landscape that changes. Example- if a noise-sensitive individual heard a series of familiar noises, punctuated by a new sound at the beginning of the series, they would be far less responsive to that new noise. Scientists believe that members of this group are tuning down their levels of responsivity to cope with their reactions to different levels of noise.


As with many great audiology bodies of study, much more work is necessary to make conclusions in this area. The next goal of researchers and scientists is to look into and determine when the noise sensitivity occurs. Is it something that these group members are born with? Is it due to the environment around them? Is it amplified by environmental factors, or is it completely isolated? These are the questions that we’ll have to ask.


Regardless, studies like these are ground breaking because they move past the theory that noise sensitivity is just an attitude to noise. Instead, it’s a physiological aspect. They are also far more cross-functional between different scientific disciplines, as they relate to audiology. This study, and others like it, support Hearlink’s mission to dive deeply into every question as it relates to hearing loss. We believe in continuous education and continuous research. With studies like this, we can only learn more and more- creating new and better plans for our valued customers and patients.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin