Blog - Better Hearing

Better Hearing

Better HearingIt is a time to raise awareness about communication disorders and hearing health. Hearing loss can occur in many different ways. Two common ways are presbycusis (natural aging process) and noise exposure.

We are products of our environment. If we are exposed to loud sounds without hearing protection, side effects can be permanent hearing loss, temporary threshold shift, tinnitus, fatigue, and dizziness to list just a few. It is a good idea to have your hearing checked if you notice any decrease in hearing.

When you have untreated hearing loss, the speech signals coming into your brain are degraded, so your brain has to work much harder to process them. When more brain resources are used for understanding sounds, other brain tasks such as memory and comprehension can suffer.

Audiologists recognize a significant benefit of early intervention with hearing aids. When you lose hearing ability over time, your brain can actually “forget” how to hear certain sounds. For example, the longer you brain is deprived of high-frequency sounds, the harder it will be to process those sounds even after being fitted with hearing aids.

Hearing aids process sound signals so it is easier for your brain to understand them. They also reduce the cognitive load, making it easier for your brain to perform other tasks. Benefits may include:

  • Reduced mental fatigue
  • Decrease feelings of isolation and depression
  • Improved ability to do several things at once
  • Improved memory, attention, and focus
  • Improved communication skills

If you suspect decrease in hearing and/or cognitive decline schedule both a hearing evaluation with an audiologist and medical exam with a neurotologist.

Michael Bateman, AuD
Clinical Audiologist

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