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If you need hearing aids and you don’t wear them, your brain will rust! It’s called Auditory Deprivation – when the brain gradually loses some of its ability to process information from the unaided ear(s) due to continued lack of auditory stimulation.
The most common causes for auditory deprivation are:
1. When a person needs hearing aids and chooses not to purchase or wear them. According to Dr. Mark Welch (an Ear, Nose and Throat physician),“When the hearing nerves and the areas of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they atrophy, or weaken.”
2. Using only one hearing aid when there is actually hearing loss in BOTH ears. This basically deprives the unaided ear of sound. Oftentimes when the second hearing aid is finally purchased, that ear will have “forgotten” how to listen and may have difficulty adapting to sound.
3. Improper fitting and tuning of hearing aids. We believe your hearing aids are only as good as your hearing healthcare provider. If your hearing aids are not programmed correctly for your hearing loss, you may be depriving your ear(s) of sound!
Prevention is the best cure
What’s the best treatment for auditory deprivation? Avoid it in the first place. Our audiologist can do a thorough hearing evaluation to see what sounds you are not hearing. Then you can discuss a plan to make sure you are hearing your best. If hearing aids are needed, it is important to work with an audiologist who is committed to the process of selecting the right instruments for your specific situation…and then program them correctly! Finally, it is very important for YOU to be committed to wearing the instruments so that your ears are not deprived of sound.
In other words…if you need hearing aids, wear them or your brain will rust.
Auditory Deprivation is a ‘use it or lose it’ issue, so it is imperative that you are take action today to ensure your ability to perceive speech does not continue to deteriorate over time.
Don’t wait for your hearing to decline, contact us now if you are concerned.