July 12, 2017 Audiology
Did you know that hearing affects everything between your ears? YOUR BRAIN! Most people are quick to think that hearing has only to do with ears. They do not realize the brain has a lot to do with it, too! In the hearing part of the brain is where SOUND becomes information that has MEANING. Your brain has to work hard to make this happen. When you have a hearing challenge, this natural relationship between your ears and brain is disrupted. When the sound signals from your ears are compromised, perhaps due to hearing loss, your brain has to work even harder to fill in the gaps and follow what is being said. This extra effort can really take a toll. For example, someone with significant hearing loss may feel extra fatigued at the end of a busy day. In an extreme case, over time hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression. This is why it is so important to take care of your hearing health the same way you care about the rest of your health.
Your ears and your brain work together as a system, with your brain doing most of the heavy lifting. Your brain is what uses the information from your two ears to ESTABLISH YOUR SURROUDINGS by figuring out which direction sound is coming from: this is what tells your brain what is happening in the environment. It’s in the brain that sound waves become sounds that you RECOGNIZE, and when the brain recognizes a sound, it tries to make sense of it. Your brain also is what helps you FOCUS in on a conversation and SEPARATE out unwanted noise: the brain uses both ears to focus on what’s important, especially in noisy sound environments. Right now, all four of these tasks are happening simultaneously and continuously inside your brain. With a hearing challenge this system is compromised making it much harder for your brain, resulting in fatigue and/or other negative effects. This doesn’t have to happen to you. Hearing devices can reduce the effort involved in listening, AND can take your personal listening preferences into account. They can preserve the important details in speech and work as a system to help you locate sounds.
Your hearing is as unique as your fingerprint. And because no two people are quite like you, no one else’s hearing profile is quite like yours. Call us today to make an appointment for hearing test. Do your brain a favor and make sure your hearing system is in top notch condition!