Auditory Deprivation

Because of auditory deprivation, it is possible your ability to undersand speech could get worse.   Auditory deprivation refers to a person’s lack of adequate hearing stimulation.  With auditory deprivation, the brain gradually loses some of its information processing ability.  Several investigations have shown that people, who wear only one hearing aid, experience a reduction in their ability to understand speech in the ear that has not been stimulated with an aid.  The ability of the auditory system to process speech declines due to a lack of stimulation.

Many individuals with hearing impairment wait many years before they try hearing aids.  They have gone for a long time without stimulation to either ear, and their ability to understand speech in both ears is often poor. There are many benefits to  wearing two hearing aids.  Two aids are necessary for sound localization and hearing in noise.  However, another benefit of wearing two hearing aids (binaural amplification) is to reduce the effects of auditory deprivation. The old expression “use it or lose it” seems to apply to our ability to hear and understand speech.

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