July 31, 2014

Auditory Deprivation

By Dr. Molly Parker
Audiologist and Owner
Parker Audiology, P.C.
& Dr. Alison Soto
Audiologist
Parker Audiology, P.C.

I had a patient who stopped in because their hearing was “not that bad,” despite having a significant hearing loss. For those who have had similar musings, here is some food for thought!

What is Auditory Deprivation?

• When hearing levels drop below normal conversational levels and do not allow a person to understand speech clearly, Auditory Deprivation can occur.

When did we first discover Auditory Deprivation?

• During the 1980’s the Veteran’s Administration studied and found that by wearing only one or no hearing aids, speech understanding would drop in the ear without the hearing aid. Once the person started to wear a hearing aid in the ear that had lost speech understanding it could prevent the understanding from become worse. There are some neurological/brain conditions that also end up affecting a person’s ability to understand speech in the same way that Auditory Deprivation does.

How do we treat Auditory Deprivation?

• When Auditory Deprivation occurs, the patient will not understand clearly in noise or in quiet circumstances and will require slow speech and raised voices because of his/her ability to understand words. Hearing technology can help reduce the occurrence and effects of auditory deprivation.

Common Myths about Hearing Loss and Auditory Deprivation:

• It really won’t hurt me if I don’t wear the aid or aids.
– This is a perception or feeling that many people who are denying that the hearing loss isn’t that bad, or that it does not affect loved ones around. This usually occurs in patients who need help with their hearing.

• I will wear the aids when my hearing is bad enough to spend the money.
– This again is a belief that Auditory Deprivation will not affect your ears. Delays are definitely your enemy when hearing loss sets in.

If you have concerns about Auditory Deprivation, please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Alison Soto or Dr. Molly Parker.

Parker Audiology, P.C is locally owned and operated. Call Dr. Alison Soto or Dr. Molly Parker today for an appointment at (563) 326-5441.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness