Think about past conversations you’ve had or lectures that you’ve listened to, where you could only hear some parts. Did you feel your heart racing in these situations? Were you nervous that someone was going to ask you a question?
Rather than letting the person who is speaking know that you have difficulty hearing them because you can hear, for the most part, you may concentrate harder and manage to piece together the message. Initially, it may not seem serious, but what if this is how you hear information in every single conversation or lecture throughout your life? It is going to affect the way you engage with others and process information given to you.
The Inability to Recognize Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
Mild hearing loss may go unnoticed for years, which makes it seem less serious. As a result, it can cause confusion for the speaker and the listener. The listener may be able to hear sound and speech, but might not be understanding the main message.
Mild to moderate hearing loss suggests that there is little to no risk for a person, but every range of hearing loss can cause serious issues.
In some instances, excuses like blaming others for mumbling or not fully paying attention to what was said may be used instead of considering one’s own hearing inabilities.
Socializing with others is Impacted
Whenever a person with hearing loss socializes with others, it brings up the risk of missing what is being said during conversations. A mild hearing loss won’t initially affect you. When it’s left untreated, you may notice that you will slowly withdraw from social settings.
How Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss affects the Brain
Everyone has a working memory, which is essentially a sketchpad in your brain that briefly collects information as the brain processes thoughts. Specific parts of working memory manage different stimuli. One area of the brain holds sounds. This is known as auditory working memory (AWM).
Those who suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss have a weakened AWM. This affects a person’s capability to distinguish speech sounds, and without equal access to language and education, this can lead to learning disorders.
If the ears are not properly stimulated during the early stages of a child’s development, their AWM will be diminished. If one ear receives less stimulation, it can affect how the brain processes sound from that ear. If a person cannot hear with both ears, part of the brain that processes sound will shrink or stop growing.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to those who are hard of hearing. Their ability to hear can vary, based on the situation. Background noises, or the distance between them and the person who they are interacting with, can make it difficult to hear. They might only be able to temporarily hear.
They work harder to comprehend what is being said, which can cause them to become exhausted and mentally drained. This makes it harder to piece a conversation together, and they may be too tired to engage in the discussion.
The Effect on Children
Children who have a hearing impairment may have an even harder time communicating because they are still in the process of learning languages. A study found that children are more likely to imitate their peers, even if they do not understand what is happening.
Unfortunately, this can make things more difficult for teachers to associate the child’s behavior with their hearing loss.
All teachers should have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) Plan for every range of hearing loss. An itinerant teacher can help out with anything that the student is having difficulty with, make sure that they are wearing and using their hearing aids, and set up an FM system for them.
Get help with Hearing Aids
Most people who have hearing loss suffer from a mild range of loss. Any level of hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. It would be helpful to wear them in order to clearly understand language. This will help reduce how much effort is exerted while having a simple conversation or when understanding instructions.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Whether you have mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss, we offer a variety of hearing aids for your individual needs.