Judy Olson, AuD
“When a person has hearing loss, they don’t hear as many sounds as people with normal hearing. The worse the hearing loss is, the less exercise the hearing system gets”.The title of this article is something most people have heard at some point in their lives. If you don’t start your car every now and then… eventually it won’t turn on. If you don’t move your body around, it gets stiff and the muscles get weaker. Our ears and our hearing systems are no different. When a person has normal hearing… that person hears sound 24/7. There is always some level of ambient background noise around us. The nerves that allow us to hear are always working as a result… and that’s a good thing. When nerves “fire” or “activate”, they are getting exercise, and exercise is good… it keeps us strong and healthy. When a person has hearing loss, they don’t hear as many sounds as people with normal hearing. The worse the hearing loss is, the less exercise the hearing system gets. The hearing nerves sit “dormant” most of the time… only getting exercise when the person with hearing loss hears intense, loud sound. And if these loud sounds aren’t properly controlled, they might end up doing further damage to the hearing system.
“If these nerves aren’t exercised for several years… they can eventually ‘die off’”.If these nerves aren’t exercised for a several years… they can eventually “die off”. I see it all the time during my hearing tests. Here’s what it looks like: Let’s say we have a patient named George… and a patient named Bill. Both Bill and George have hearing loss… in fact, their hearing loss is exactly the same. The only difference is, Bill has been wearing hearing aids for the last 8 years. George has never worn hearing aids before. We start the hearing test. Headphones in… no hearing aids allowed during the hearing test! I turn the volume up loud, and ask Bill to repeat back some random words. He hears all of them with 100% accuracy. I do the exact same test with George, at the same volume… but George only hears 60% of the words correctly. Why did this happen? Well… Bill has been keeping his hearing system strong and healthy by wearing hearing aids the last 8 years. His hearing nerves have been getting plenty of “exercise” every single day. George’s hearing system has not, and has gotten very weak as a result.
“Wearing hearing aids is the ONLY way to reliably and safely exercise your hearing system all day every day when you have hearing loss”.Wearing hearing aids is the ONLY way to reliably and safely exercise your hearing system all day every day when you have hearing loss. This is why it’s so important to treat your hearing loss early. I have never met a patient that got hearing aids from our clinic that regretted the decision later. Now, it’s important to note that if the hearing aids are not programmed the right way, they won’t do you any good… and that’s where we come in. Our doctors at Hearing Solutions of Indiana have put in the time and work necessary to fit these devices appropriately. We love seeing people we’ve worked with for several years thriving because they treated their hearing loss early. If you think you might have hearing loss… give us a call. We want nothing more than to help you hear better for years to come. Give us a call at (765) 771-7109 or click here to schedule an appointment online!