Hearing loss is easy to identify but tough to come to terms with. We all know that friend or family member that says “what”, “huh”, or “stop mumbling!” all the time; some of us are that person. It is important to understand that hearing loss does not mean things sound like someone has turned the volume down on life! We can not stress this enough. Hearing loss is most commonly, the loss of clarity.
what does this mean?
Well, it depends on what you are experiencing.
Do you miss words in sentences, or Do your ears feel plugged?
Miss Words (More likely sensorineural: )
sensorineural effects volume and clarity of sounds:
- Speech sounds like people are mumbling
- Difficulty following conversation with more than one speaker
- Noises may seem too loud or too quiet
- trouble understanding speech with background noise
- Difficulty hearing women’s or children’s voices
- missing normal life sounds (birds chirping, rain, leaves, and consonants)
- ringing in the ear
- and more
if someone were to cover their mouth and say to someone with a hearing loss: HAT, MAT CAT, FAT, PAT at a normal volume, someone with a high frequency hearing loss may hear just as loud as someone with perfect hearing. the difference is not volume; it is WHAT they hear that is important. The person with a High frequency hearing loss would likely miss several if not all of these words if they were asked to repeat what the speaker said.
you have 1 listener and 1 speaker. so a total of 2 people.
the speaker covers their mouth so the listener can not read their lips, but does not obstruct their speech.
What is said:
HAT, MAT CAT, FAT, PAT
What is heard:
hat, pat, pat, at, hat or hat, hat, hat, hat, hat (etc.)
This is an extreme example of someone with a more severe loss. This is not a way to diagnose a type of hearing loss just a good exercise to review one.
Plugged ( More likely conductive)
Conductive hearing loss is less common, but it still effects millions of people world wide.
To demonstrate a conductive hearing loss gently and safely close your ears with your fingers. This will give you the feeling of a conductive hearing loss, you’ll feel plugged-up, and you’ll feel a little hearing impaired. Interestingly, some people may tell you they don’t need hearing aids because they ONLY have a 30 decibel hearing loss. However, assuming you have normal hearing, when you plug your ears with your fingers, you’ll experience approximately a 25 decibel hearing loss, and you’ll quickly realize that even a VERY MILD hearing loss is quite irritating and disconcerting!
Our specialist will complete a word list with you before and after your hearing aid fitting to track the benefits of hearing aids so you can see if hearing aids would be a solution for you.