Auditory Deprivation

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Auditory Deprivation – Can my hearing get worse if I don’t wear hearing aids? Auditory deprivation refers to a person’s lack of adequate hearing stimulation. Studies have shown, with time, the ability to process sound into meaningful words such as speech can deteriorate if there is not adequate stimulation to the brain. The hearing levels don’t necessarily get worse by not wearing hearing aids, but the ability to understand speech and process the information can deteriorate.

This is known as Auditory Deprivation. We are depriving the auditory system in the brain of receiving adequate sound stimulation and our brain gets’ lazy’. With auditory deprivation, the brain gradually loses some of its information processing ability. Several investigations have shown that people, who wear only one hearing aid, experience a reduction in their ability to understand speech in the ear that has not been stimulated with a hearing aid. The ability of the auditory system to process speech declines due to a lack of stimulation to the ear that was not fitted with a hearing aid.

Many of my clients ask if wearing hearing aids will make their hearing worse like wearing glasses. This is not the case with hearing and as mentioned above, not wearing hearing aids can cause our auditory system to deteriorate. The hearing aids will not make the hearing levels worse. Many individuals with hearing loss wait many years before they try hearing aids.

This may be due to denial, negative stories about hearing aids, stigma or cost. They have gone for a long time without stimulation to both ears and their ability to understand speech may be poor. If a hearing loss is present in both ears there are advantages of wearing two hearing aids such as improved sound localisation and better hearing in background noise.

However, another benefit of wearing two hearing aids is to reduce the effects of Auditory Deprivation. The old expression “use it or lose it” seems to apply to our ability to hear and understand speech. For a confidential discussion with an Audiologist regarding your hearing, call AudioLogic Hearing Services on 9754 4162.

http://www.audiologic.net.au/

hearing clinics | hearing tests | office hearing services

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