Hearing aids do more than help you hear. They also help to preserve the memory of sounds you cannot hear without assistance.
Hearing loss often occurs gradually, almost imperceptibly over many years.
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Most people are born with the ability to hear. But understanding speech is not automatic. It takes years of practice.
Left uncorrected, hearing loss erodes these abilities.
Most often, hearing loss sneaks up on you. Suddenly one day, you notice that you no longer hear the humming of the refrigerator or the birds’ singing. Possibly you find yourself asking others to repeat themselves or those around you notice that you are not hearing well.
On average, it takes 10 years for people with hearing loss to finally do something about it. Many people are simply waiting for the hearing problem to go away. This rarely happens.
Untreated hearing loss affects your quality of life, but it also affects the brain’s ability to remember common everyday sounds and voices because the hearing system is not getting the stimulation it needs to stay healthy.
When the hearing nerves lose their function and no longer channel sound signals to the brain, the brain ‘forgets’ the sounds over time and becomes unable to understand them.
The brain center for hearing stores sounds and noises for up to three years following the onset of a hearing loss. But after about seven years the memory becomes weaker and weaker.
Therefore, it is important to have your hearing tested and hearing instruments fitted in the early stages of hearing loss. Once you have hearing aids, the hearing processing resumes supplying signals to the brain.
The Cost of Waiting and Learning to Hear Again
If the fitting of hearing instruments is seriously delayed, however, not even hearing devices will be able to transform the incoming sound signals into understandable information. This means that the brain no longer recognizes ordinary everyday sounds, noises, and voices. The brain must learn to hear all over again.
If you have any doubts about your hearing, you should see the friendly staff at Hearing Works for your FREE comprehensive hearing exam.