Use It or Lose It!

Nov 13, 2009 by

We’ve all heard the phrase “use it or loose it.”  It applies to many things such as algebra, speaking a foreign language, athletic ability and the ability to distinguish speech.  Just as our brain gets trained to understand and distinguish speech sounds starting at infancy, our brain has the potential to lose its ability to distinguish speech sounds as we age into our senior years.  When we ignore hearing loss, which is most commonly caused by having more birthdays, our ears fail to transmit sounds to our brain.  Distinguishable speech sounds such as ‘t’, ‘s’, ‘f’, ‘sh’ and some others do not get sent  from our ears to stimulate our brain.  Over time our brain will loose its ability to distinguish those sounds, even with the help of the most advanced hearing aids.

Most all patients who waited to get help, even those who did not think it was yet necessary, eventually regretted the decision to procrastinate getting appropriate hearing help.  People report nothing more frustrating than hearing sounds but not being able to distinguish speech.  The way to avoid this irreversible problem is to pay attention to the subtle signs of hearing loss, get tested early and often so that you can act proactively in avoiding this deterioration.