Sixth Edition of Wednesday Wisdom

Welcome to the sixth installation of #WednesdayWisdom! Every week we’ll post information relating to hearing.

Our goal is to provide valuable information so that you can take an active part in maintaining your #hearinghealth.
This is our third in a four-part series relating to degrees of hearing loss, and how to recognize them in ourselves, and in others.

This week’s focus is: Severe hearing loss

Last week we posted about Moderate hearing loss, which is when most people become aware that they are experiencing a deficit.

In the majority of cases when patients come in to see us and are already aware that they are suffering a hearing loss and must do something about it, their hearing has progressed to Severe levels after the warning signs at the mild and moderate levels have been dismissed or ignored.

The sounds that can become difficult to hear at this range, are between 70 and 89 dB. Sounds in this range include a toilet flushing, an alarm clock, a passing truck or a lawn mower.

People who suffer from severe hearing loss will benefit from powerful hearing aids, but often they rely heavily on lip-reading even when they are using hearing aids.

Hearing loss can also vary from ear to ear, making it even more difficult to determine on our own whether we’re experiencing issues. This is just another reason why it is critical to get a yearly hearing exam.

Hearing cannot be recaptured once it is lost, but the use of hearing aids can slow the decline of hearing, preserving the ability that remains.

The reason for this is something called Auditory Deprivation. Simply put, your ears function as instruments to collect sounds and deliver these sounds to your brain. The speech interpretation center of your brain processes these sounds into words. If your ears cannot hear the sounds, then your brain does not have anything to process. The lack of stimulation in this area of the brain causes you to lose the functionality of understanding speech. So, basically if you aren’t hearing the words, you eventually lose the ability to understand them.

We will cover Auditory Deprivation in more detail after we complete our “degrees of hearing loss” series, which will finish next week.

If you find yourself asking others to repeat themselves over Thanksgiving dinner, it is time to call an Audiologist and schedule a hearing exam.