Auditory Deprivation

Your Options Explained

Time to read: 3 mins, not enough time?
Email it for later...

Get new articles direct to your inbox.
Subscribe to this blog via email...

Hearing difficulties can occur slowly over a number of years sometimes making it hard for a person to notice they are beginning to struggle in everyday situations. Losing hearing sensitivity is normally a slow process. We come across typical phrases that people with use to explain why they maybe having communication issues. You may say :-

‘I think there was 'too much background noise'

‘The person was talking very softly and not facing me'

‘They were in another room so that’s why I can’t hear’

‘I can’t hear when you speak too quickly’

‘I know that person mumbles’

‘I find accents are tricky to pick up clearly'

These are common reasons people use to justify why they are struggling to hear. However it is very important to get your hearing checked when you first start to notice any of these difficulties. If you noticed your vision was not quite as clear, would you leave it years to have it checked… most probably not. However people do tend to put off hearing checks, there is no reason for this. The checks are quick, simple to carry out and painless What’s stopping you?

The role of our ears is to gather all the sounds that occur around us and then transmit those sounds to our brain. The brain interprets, filters and processes all the sounds it receives. The brain then picks out the information that it finds useful – in most circumstances this is speech. When someone has a hearing loss their ears are not transmitting all sounds occurring around them, therefore there is less information reaching the brain. The brain has less sound to process. Over time the brain loses its ability to process the signals it receives as it is not being stimulated effectively. This is known as Auditory Deprivation - depriving the brain of the sounds that it needs to work properly.

In short, a persons ability to interpret speech correctly declines, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Minimising this decline is very important and the quicker you take action the better it will be. You will achieve more effective results by doing something positive and seeking out an amplification solution.

By the time that some people get around to wearing a hearing aid, it may not be quite as effective as it could have been if they had it fitted earlier on.

The job of a hearing aid is to amplify sound and deliver it down the ear, however it is dependant upon a persons auditory system and processing ability to use the amplified signal to interpret and understand the speech. If you don’t use your hearing system to it’s full extent then its ability reduces.

A person needs auditory stimulation to maintain good speech recognition . It is viewed as the ‘use it or lose it’ effect.

What's the best treatment for auditory deprivation?

Avoid it in the first place.

Speak to your audiologist who can evelaute your hearing to see which sounds you can hear. Then discuss with them the course of action you can take which best suits your needs. If hearing aids are suggested then work with your audiologist to find the right devices, make sure that they are fitted properly using real ear measurements and be committed to wearing them so that your ears are not deprived of the sounds that they need.

Zoe Dingle

Clinical Audiologist