Ever wondered why you are not getting good benefit in the understanding of speech despite using good hearing aids. The answer may be AUDITORY DEPRIVATION.
What is auditory deprivation?
- Auditory Deprivation is a condition that occurs in individuals suffering from hearing loss where their brain loses the ability to interpret words due to a lack of stimulation over an extended period of time.
- Our brain receives all signal from our auditory senses (i.e. our ears) through auditory nerves but when our hearing sensitivity reduces our brain also starts to function differently. It gives more importance to visual cues rather than auditory cues.
- With the passage of time, our brain is more dependent on visual cues rather than auditory signals for understanding verbal information.
How to avoid Auditory deprivation?
1. Early Identification of Hearing Loss:
Look for the signs and symptoms of hearing loss such as
- People seem to mumble more frequently.
- You experience ringing in your ears.
- You often ask people to repeat themselves.
- Your family complains that you play the radio or TV too loudly.
- You no longer hear normal household sounds, such as the dripping of a faucet or the ringing of a doorbell.
- You have difficulty understanding a conversation when in a large group or crowd.
- You have trouble understanding all the words in a conversation.
- You find telephone conversation increasingly difficult.
- You have trouble hearing when your back is turned to the speaker.
- You have been told you speak too loudly.
As you feel that you are having any of these symptoms, please show to an audiologist nearby. It is recommended to have regular hearing screening done by your ENT or Audiologist after the age of 50 years.
2. Early Intervention of Hearing Loss:
As soon as you find that you are having hearing loss, start using proper intervention technique. In most cases, it is using amplification devices i.e. Hearing Aids.
Don't ignore even mild degree of hearing loss as it is proven that our brain re-organization occurs even with a mild hearing loss.
Next question that comes to our mind is, 'should I have to use hearing aids in both ears or can I manage with only one?'
The answer is NO, you have to use hearing aids in both ears if you are having a loss in both ears because our brain is habitual of using both ears.
There are some listed advantages of using two hearing aids rather than one:
- Better understanding of speech
- Better understanding of group and noisy situations
- Better ability to tell the direction of sound
- Better sound quality
- Smoother tone quality
- Wider hearing range
- Better sound identification
- Hearing is less tiring and listening more pleasant
- Feeling of balanced hearing
- Greater comfort when loud noises occur
- Reduced feedback and whistling
- Tinnitus Masking
And the most important thing, you can avoid auditory deprivation to occur in both ears.
So meet an AUDIOLOGIST today!