Speech Comprehension and Hearing Loss
Speech comprehension and hearing loss are closely connected. Hearing loss prevents the brain from receiving sound signals which means those sounds are never processed and turned into information. Our ability to understand and comprehend speech is directly connected to our ability to hear. Without being able to clearly hear words, you cannot process those words and make meaning from them.
The Effects of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can have negative effects on your overall health and well-being. Sometimes, hearing loss is the result of another underlying condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. For this reason it’s important to have your hearing and your health evaluated regularly. Even if your hearing loss is not the result of another underlying condition, it can have many negative effects on your everyday life and well-being. Some of the effects of untreated hearing loss include:
- Social isolation
- Cognitive decline
- Difficulties with speech comprehension
When you can’t hear well because of hearing loss you may feel embarrassed when you mishear the conversation. This can cause you to isolate yourself from other people and can result in cognitive decline and even dementia. Even if you still engage socially with other people and your hearing loss is left untreated, you can have a difficult time understanding speech.
Speech comprehension is our ability to hear sounds and transform them into information. When sound enters our ears it travels to the auditory cortex of the brain where it is turned into information and stored in our memory. As children, this is how we learn and make sense of the world around us, through our hearing and understanding of speech.
Hearing loss can negatively affect your ability to comprehend speech because you can’t hear clearly. Certain words and syllables may be especially difficult to hear depending on the type and severity of your hearing loss. This can result in you missing words in a conversation. Overtime, your brain will start to forget those words and it will be harder to understand them, even if you do start wearing hearing aids.
What You Can Do
To prevent your speech comprehension from further worsening it’s important to manage your hearing loss with hearing aids. Hearing aids allow you to hear clearly and to process sound into information. Wearing hearing aids allows your brain to receive the proper stimulation and exercise it needs to stay active and healthy. Not only will hearing aids help with your speech comprehension, but they will also help you to feel more confident and can combat feelings of loneliness and cognitive decline.
If you have any questions about your speech comprehension, call us today. We want to help you hear your best!