One of the hot topics today was regarding brain reorganization. In a presentation by Anu Sharma, PhD, from the University of Colorado-Boulder, several studies were discussed regarding how the brain compensates for untreated hearing loss. Studies show even mild untreated hearing loss results in reorganization to compensate for lack of auditory stimulation. Results of the studies indicate the brain shifts what should be an auditory response to the area of the brain responsible for cognition. This taxes that area of the brain, using reserves that should be responsible for vision and memory, thus leading to auditory fatigue. This shift can happen as early as 30 days after hearing loss is detected, such as with sudden loss. Studies also show a decrease in grey matter in the brain with even a mild hearing loss and also a decrease in comprehension. Reversal of this diversion has been documented with regular use of amplification. This demonstrates a strong case for finding and treating hearing loss earlier.
Gardner Audiologists Jodi Conter and Angela Schenk are attending the Hearing Innovations Expo in Las Vegas.
Jodi Conter, MS
Angela Schenk, AuD