Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.
Latest posts by Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D. (see all)

How important is it that we get our hearing screened? According to the national average, people wait for an average of seven years to attend to their hearing health. What the public needs to know that due to the nature of hearing loss, the most effective time period to alleviate hearing loss is as soon as possible!

There are over a billion people between the ages of 12 and 35 that are at risk of hearing loss as and would benefit the greatest by early testing as cited by the World Health Organization.

A decline in hearing can happen incrementally or drastically and suddenly. The danger of hearing loss is that we often only feel the effects when we notice a definitive change for the worse. This is compounded by the fact that the best chance we have to rectify hearing loss or alleviate its effects is to catch it as early as possible.

The development of hearing impairment

The process of hearing is quite complex and delicate. Our middle ear contains hundreds of minute hair cells (cilia) that direct sound through a chamber filled with fluid into an auditory organ. The organ is connected to our brain which receives and translates sound waves into what we know as hearing!

When the cilia break down as they weather through years, the course of the downward progression of our hearing begins. The brain begins to receive broken bits of sound to process.

Another mitigating factor is that, in tandem with the physical digression of components of the middle ear, the pathways that are created via the connection of the auditory nerve are not replenished adequately.

In our early life, neural pathways are created via the reception of sound from our outer ear to the middle ear to the inner ear to the brain. If there is a deviation from these well-traveled paths the brain compensates by creating new paths. These neural pathways are now built upon fragmented sound. If this condition is ignored, then the decline of hearing loss continues unabated.

The connection between the brain and the ear

Because our cilia do not regenerate naturally, the process of hearing suffers permanent damage. Throughout our life, our brain creates neural pathways so that the reception of sound becomes interpreted and recognized. Our cognitive abilities depreciate when our hearing is affected.

Once we establish the ringtone for our mobile phone, we rely on that ringtone to discern that our mobile is being called and who it may be. We recognize the sound of a train as it pulls in to the platform or the honk of a car. Sounds that are familiar and sounds that give us warning.

If left unaddressed, damage to our hearing continues and we lose the ability to distinguish and identify these sounds which alert us to our everyday activities and needs.

The importance of early testing

To maintain our hearing health, we need to be aware of the fragility of the hearing process and to detect deterioration as early as possible. Once damage is done, we must be proactive in sustaining, correcting, and enriching the current hearing ability that we do have left. The sooner we screen for an assessment of our hearing the better chance we have of maintaining the natural roadwork that the brain has already created for the foundation of our hearing.

Hearing implements, assistive devices, surgical implants, and many other technological devices and research are available to be modified to your needs and will be implemented at your readiness. Don’t wait until speech sounds are muffled, clarity is lost, or conversations become arduous and social interactions cumbersome. If we avoid regular hearing tests, we leave ourselves open to an increasingly difficult hearing experience with less effective communicative abilities.

Schedule a hearing test with Beverly Hills Hearing Center

No matter how long it has taken to get here, now is the best time to make that commitment to take a hearing test. Adjustments and treatments can be made at any point to get you on the road to a fuller hearing experience. At Beverly Hills Hearing Center, we are here to help you begin the journey to a fuller and richer quality of life with your first appointment.