Stress Response System in the Ear Protects Against Hearing Loss

The ear serves in part as an environmental monitoring system, sending the brain signals in response to vibrational input to understand the world around us; to move, learn, communicate, adapt, survive and thrive.

The middle ear is the gateway to a neural filtering system that helps us receive auditory information such as human speech and to simultaneously filter out unwanted sound or noise which can damage the delicate structures of the inner ear resulting in hearing loss, hyperacousis, stress, and a host of other problems. 

Many recognize the vital connection between the ear and body’s fight-flight response, which is physiologically linked from the middle ear to the vagal regulation system. The polyvagal theory of psychologist Stephen Porges provides a clear understanding of this mechanism. The Listening Program® with bone conduction technology is used in part as a training method to improve the function of this system.

Now a new in vivo study at Tufts University shows for the first time that there is a stress response system within the cochlea (inner ear) that mirrors the signaling pathways of the fight-flight response and protects against noise induced hearing loss. This is an exciting finding that further reveals what a marvel the auditory system is and the critical role it plays in our lives.

Read more about the Tufts study.

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