Hearing loss can cause frustration for both the affected person as well as the family and friends involved. A hearing loss can limit their ability to help others, their civic activities, and their occupational roles. It can also have permanent damage on a person’s speech understanding.

If not properly treated right away, it can cause additional strain to a person’s lifestyle.  O worse, this untreated hearing loss can lead to auditory deprivation.


What is auditory deprivation?


Auditory Deprivation is a condition that occurs in individuals suffering from hearing loss wherein their brain loses the ability to interpret words. This is due to a lack of stimulation over an extended period of time.


How long does it take for a person to treat a hearing loss?


It’s usually 7 years after the initial incident of noticing they have a hearing problem. Auditory deprivation usually sets in during this time. When they aren’t used, the nerves of the hearing mechanism become deprived of stimulation and slowly weaken . This is known as auditory deprivation.


Use it or lose it?


Hearing HealthCare Centers often discusses with our patients that hearing is a “use it or lose it” system.




Where does the hearing go once it is lost?


According to experts, “Auditory deprivation and lack of language experience lead to plastic changes of the brain – auditory cortical areas are taken by other sensorial systems, visual mainly.”

Our brains are constantly changing to make it work as effectively as possible.


What happens to unstimulated hearing sense?


Our brain will rewire and displace the stimulation to other areas in the brain. It’s important that we take the published research about auditory deprivation. We should educate non-hearing aid users on the very severe side-effects untreated hearing loss can create.

Source: http://www.medica.ro/reviste_med/download/neurologie/2014.1/Neuro_Nr­1_2014_Art­1.pdf 




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Whitney Swander

Owner, Doctor of Audiology at Hearing HealthCare Centers
Dr. Whitney Swander attended the University of Northern Colorado. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in 1998. Whitney went on to immediately earn her Master’s degree in Audiology in 2000. One month before purchasing Hearing HealthCare Centers, she completed her Doctorate in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Whitney is an active member of many associations. The American Academy of Audiology, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Colorado Academy of Audiology.

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