48 million Americans, about 20% of the total population, report some degree of hearing loss. According to the Marke Trax VIII study, by the year 2025 the number of Americans with hearing problems will increase to over 40 million and it is suggested that number will continue to grow over time. The same study found that the majority of individuals with partial hearing loss did not actively seek out assistance to improve their hearing.
If you are experiencing even a small decrease in your ability to hear properly, you need to speak with a hearing specialist. Hearing loss may not only prevent you from enjoying your favorite activities, but your condition can create further health issues. Research has shown a link between hearing loss and an increase in the chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer disease. Minor hearing problems can also lead to more substantial hearing loss from a condition known as Auditory Deprivation.
What is Auditory Deprivation and what causes the condition?
Auditory Deprivation is a form of progressive hearing loss. This may occur when minor hearing loss deprives certain areas of your brain of adequate auditory stimulation. Similar to any other part of your body lacking proper stimulation, the auditory pathways and parts of your brain that are critical for understanding speech will progressively grow weaker from being unused. Over time, the atrophy of these areas will make it more difficult for you to hear what those around you are saying. Eventually, Auditory Deprivation can cause you to completely lose the ability to take part in day-to day conversations.
What are the treatments for Auditory Deprivation?
Hearing loss resulting from Auditory Deprivation is treatable, and the condition is reversible to an extent. Since Auditory Deprivation is caused by the lack of auditory stimulation, one of the most effective treatments is using hearing aids. Hearing aids in any ear affected by the hearing loss allows your auditory pathways to stay stimulated, and can prevent these pathways from weakening any further.
To give yourself the best chance of avoiding Auditory Deprivation, it is important to regularly have your hearing checked by your doctor. For a free hearing check, stock by one of our mobile locations or contact us today to set up your appointment!