Hearing is Thinking: How We Use Our Brains to Hear

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You hear with your brain, not with your ears.

Of course, we need our ears to capture sounds, but we only understand these sounds once they arrive in our brains. So hearing – and especially speech understanding – is a cognitive process, not a mechanical one.

In other words: hearing is thinking.

Our ears deliver sounds to our brains, but they don’t choose what to send; in fact, they never rest. Even when we’re asleep, our ears are sending sound information to our brains.

Our brains then do all the hard work. The brain filters out irrelevant sounds, like other people talking in a restaurant or traffic in the background. Without us realizing it, our brains are constantly at work selecting what we hear and deciding how much attention to give each sound.

So when you lose your hearing, your brain becomes under-stimulated, and this under-stimulation can be linked to isolation, anxiety, mental fatigue, depression, even dementia! Naturally, when you improve your hearing health, you improve your brain health as well. As a result, your brain will be more mentally alert, healthy and engaged!

If you are 60 years of age or older, you have a higher risk of developing hearing loss, if you haven’t already. Statistics Canada reports that 1 in 5 Canadians have hearing loss, 47% of which are adults age 60 years or older!

That is why hearing professionals recommend you test your ears at 60 years of age and onward as part of your general wellness protocol. Early identification of hearing loss is key to successful treatment. If you are ready to take control of your hearing health, call toll-free 1-888-510-4679 to book your free, no obligation hearing test or click here.


CARP members save additional 10% off the regular price or limited-time promotional price of select hearing aids sold at HearingLife Canada, ListenUP! Canada and our National affiliated partners, proud sponsors of the Campaign for Better Hearing, and earn up to 2,000 AIR MILES® reward miles with their purchase!