What Is Auditory Deprivation?
People who need prescription glasses (but don’t wear corrective lenses) are at risk of making their vision worse. They must strain harder to see, which causes damage to their eyes. This extra effort also leads to frequent headaches.
The same is true of hearing.
If you suffer from some type of hearing loss and don’t wear assistive technology, you face a very high risk of “auditory deprivation.” This happens because incoming sound signals are not properly reaching or being processed by the auditory centers in your brain.
This deprivation can lead to a whole cascade of problems, including:
- Measurably worse hearing ability
- Slow and gradual cognitive decline
- Dramatically reduced quality of life
But unlike with eyesight, the underlying reasons for auditory deprivation are far more complex than simple “straining of the ears.”
What Causes Auditory Deprivation?
With normal hearing, incoming auditory information is encoded and integrated using many different neural networks throughout the brain. This is why hearing aids do more than just basic sound amplification. They must also “time” and “balance” auditory signals to ensure your brain receives information in a way that makes sense.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
“Decades of research, both in animals and in humans, have shown that the acoustic components of a signal (level and timing) are biologically represented through various place and timing codes. Auditory deprivation (hearing loss) alters those original biological codes, as does the process of aging….”
If the levels and timing of incoming auditory signals are consistently out of sync, the neural networks are responsible for encoding this information slowly atrophy.
And this kicks off a vicious cycle:
- As the auditory system becomes weaker, you must strain harder and harder to hear what’s happening around you
- This straining overtaxes your brain, forcing your neural networks to divert resources that aren’t normally meant for auditory processing
- Focusing becomes more difficult while tuning out of conversations becomes easier and easier
All of this leads to even more atrophy within your auditory processing centers. Worse still, feelings of social isolation rise as you increasingly find yourself on the sidelines of everyday activities and conversations.
And this leads to even more cognitive decline – continuing the downward spiral.
Fortunately, this condition is both treatable and preventable.
How to Prevent Auditory Deprivation
All of the above highlights the importance of wearing hearing aids. But it’s not always that simple.
Many who start with hearing aids eventually stop because their devices are either uncomfortable or ineffective. This is especially true when ordering hearing aids over-the-counter (OTC) or through dispensers.
But even those who use hearing aids all the time are at risk of auditory deprivation if their devices have not been carefully selected, programmed and fitted for the wearer.
In addition, the probe microphone measurements must be done to ensure that the correct amount of amplification is reaching the eardrum. In our experience, this is missing from many hearing aid fittings from audiologists and dispensers.
This is why we do extensive diagnostic testing at The Hearing Solution. These comprehensive screenings allow us to customize and fit the most appropriate assistive technology for your specific hearing loss. We also provide ongoing auditory training to help with memory, focus, and recall.
The end result is that you benefit from maximum hearing ability with minimal strain and effort.
In other words – no more:
- Auditory deprivation
- Cognitive decline
- Social isolation
Are Your Hearing Aids Putting You at Risk of Auditory Deprivation?
We invite you to put us to the test with our 2nd Opinion Challenge.
It doesn’t matter if you bought your current hearing aids from an audiologist, dispenser or online retailer. If you’re not happy with your devices, bring them in to our Sacramento clinic. And we’ll run your hearing aids through real-life testing and probe microphone measurements to determine how effective they are at amplifying and balancing incoming auditory information.
Based on the results of this screening, our on-site audiologists will then optimize the performance of your hearing aids and have you test drive them for a week or two.
You will hear the difference – guaranteed.
Equally important, your improved hearing aids can help dramatically reduce your risk of auditory deprivation and unnecessary strain.
Normally, this testing and optimization service costs $300 per ear. But through September 30, 2019, you can save 50% on our 2nd Opinion Challenge.
With this limited-time offer, you can have your hearing aids analyzed and calibrated for only $150 per ear.
Ready to take the 2nd Opinion Challenge and hear better than ever before?
Schedule a diagnostic appointment with our Sacramento clinic today.
Interested in learning more? Attend one of our regular hearing solution events to learn more about our unique approach to hearing loss or give us a call at 916-646-2471.Contact Us Now