People who suffer from hearing loss need to be extra mindful of related conditions. Auditory Deprivation is a condition where the hearing impaired lose the ability to interpret words due to a lack of stimulation over an extended period of time. Just like any other part of your body, if you don’t use it, it will start to atrophy and weaken.
Hearing vs. Understanding
Your ears collect sounds and deliver those sounds to your brain. The speech interpretation centre of your brain processes those sounds into words. If your ears cannot hear the sounds, then your brain doesn’t have anything to process. The lack of stimulation in this area of the brain causes you to lose the ability to understand speech.
Common Causes of Auditory Deprivation:
- When a person needs hearing aids but chooses not to wear them or purchase them.
- Only wearing one hearing aid when two are necessary (you are depriving your unaided ear of sound).
- Improper fitting or tuning of the hearing aids.
- Old hearing aids that may not be giving you the proper amplification you need based on your hearing loss.
- The first time your spouse comments on how loud you have the television, or that they always have to repeat themselves, get your hearing tested! This is the first step to prevent auditory deprivation.
- If you do have hearing aids, it is crucial to wear them as often as possible.
- If you wear a hearing aid, it is also important to come in for regular check-ups to make sure your hearing aids are always working properly.
- Monitor your hearing loss with regular hearing tests. If your hearing does change, your hearing aids can be adjusted accordingly.
Do you have questions about hearing loss or Auditory Deprivation? Book an appointment by calling 1-800-232-7289. Or book your appointment online.
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner, RHAP
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences, BC-HIS