When the listener has a hearing loss, whether someone is heard and heard easily depends upon who is speaking, how far they are speaking from, whether the speaker has an accent or a dialect, whether there is any background noise present (i.e., music playing, car engine running, papers rustling, babies crying, teenagers whispering), and whether the acoustics in the room are optimal or poor (high ceilings, hard surfaces, and lack of sound deadening can all contribute to an annoying “echo” that really makes it difficult for you to hear).
Even if you have beginning hearing loss, whether someone is heard and heard easily can also depend upon whether you are trying to hear what is being said, whether you are giving the speaker your full attention or whether your thoughts are wandering, whether you are tired or whether you’re focused, and (surprise, surprise), whether your vision is perfect or whether it is poor (you can’t compensate as well for impaired hearing when you can’t see well. Good vision allows you to lipread and watch people’s faces and gestures. Good vision helps you hear!!).
It is absolutely true that sometimes you hear well and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you hear some people just fine and with others, it’s just impossible to make out what's being said. Sometimes you can’t decipher the dialogue on the television and then, when you turn the channel or when a commercial comes on, you hear just fine without adjusting the volume control on the TV! Sometimes you hear environmental sounds better than others in your family.
Hearing loss is indeed a confusing state of affairs. How you hear is dependent on many, many factors and it certainly can seem puzzling that your experiences trying to hear are not consistent over time and over place. This lack of consistency is precisely why it takes an average of seven years for individuals to address their hearing loss. It’s so easy to blame the problem on the speaker, the room acoustics, the distance, or just not concentrating. It is not until the break-down in hearing occurs over and over that you begin to detect it may indeed be your hearing.
All this is not surprising to the Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Associates.
Hearing loss depends on many, many things and the vast majority of our patients say they hear but don’t understand. The vast majority of our patients say that as long as it's quiet, as long as the speaker speaks up, as long as the speaker gets close, and as long as the speaker speaks slowly, then they hear JUST FINE!
Otherwise, they hear but don’t understand. . . .
We understand and we can help! AND, our solutions have hearing aids as only part of the treatment plan.