What does hearing loss sound like?

Posted by jennifer gibson on Sunday, June 14, 2015 Under: 2015


That's me at the age of five or six with my Aunt! I'm wearing a body aid. Today I wear BTE's (Behind the Ear) Oticon hearing aids which are super strong.

I was born with a severe to profound hearing loss and recently went deaf in one ear. This means that when I wear my hearing aids, most sounds are essentially muffled, anything in the distance or that is soft is virtually invisible to me. Some days I feel like I'm wearing pillows over my ears, that's how quiet it is for me with my hearing aids on. If someone turns around and tries to talk to me, I will hear very little since I rely on lip-reading. Try to imagine if someone tried to talk to me from another room - it would be impossible. This also means that my hearing radius is just a couple of meters around me. If you step outside of that range, my hearing aids cannot pick up speech very well. Without my hearing aids, I hear absolutely nothing.

Even though hearing aid technology is progressing every year, it does not replace the hearing that is lost. It simply helps enhance the sounds, essentially amplifying what is around me and that is not always a good thing. Say we're in a cafe where the barista is making a cappuccino which is a particularly noisy machine - due to the processing of my hearing aids, they automatically focus on that loud sound instead of the person in front of me rendering speech nearly invisible. This means I have to rely on body language and lip-reading. Restaurants are a nightmare for me since there is so much noise happening all around me from the clatter of the utensils, chatter of many people in a small space as well as the noise from the nearby kitchen. What makes it worse is poor lightning, I've been to some restaurants where the lights are dimmed on purpose to create an ambiance (such as the KEG) and it's truly a pain to have conversations when I can't see the person's lips.


I'm always being asked this curious question "What does hearing loss sound like?" and there's nothing wrong with that. For those of you that are more interested in learning about hearing loss and what to know what my world sounds like, definitely visit some of these sites.

The Real Sounds of Hearing Loss: www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/04/06/175945670/the-real-sounds-of-hearing-loss

Sound Impressions: www.hear-it.org/Impressions-of-hearing-loss-and-Tinnitus-

Listening is Exhausting: www.hearinglikeme.com/supporting/challenges/listening-exhausting

Hearing Loss Simulator : www.hearinglikeme.com/facts/what-hearing-loss/hearing-loss-simulator-understanding-mild-and-moderate-hearing-loss?hootPostID=52ac16a4bf4cdd5d19a1e59f474d2474


In : 2015 


Tags: "hearing loss" audio  noise  sounds  articles  links 
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