Turning up the volume doesn’t always resolve hearing loss problems. Here’s something to consider: Many people are capable of hearing really soft sounds, but can’t understand conversations. That’s because hearing loss is frequently irregular. Certain frequencies are muted while you can hear others without any problem.
Hearing Loss Comes in Numerous Types
- Conductive hearing loss is triggered by a mechanical problem in the ear. It could be a result of too much buildup of earwax or caused by an ear infection or a congenital structural problem. In most circumstances, hearing specialists can manage the root condition to enhance your hearing, and if required, recommend hearing aids to fill in for any remaining hearing loss.
- Sensorineural hearing loss is more common and caused by problems with the fragile hairs, or cilia, in the inner ear. These hairs move when they sense sound and send out chemical impulses to the auditory nerve, which passes them to the brain for interpretation. These little hairs do not heal when damaged or destroyed. This is why sensorineural hearing loss is usually a result of the natural process of aging. Over the course of our lives, sensorineural hearing loss develops because we expose ourselves to loud noise, have underlying health problems, and use certain medications.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Symptoms
You may hear a little better if people speak louder to you, but it’s not going to completely deal with your hearing loss challenges. Particular sounds, like consonant sounds, can become hard to hear for people who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss. Despite the fact that people around them are speaking clearly, somebody with this condition may think that everyone is mumbling.
When somebody is dealing with hearing loss, the frequency of consonants often makes them difficult to distinguish. The frequency of sound, or pitch, is calculated in hertz (hz) and the higher pitch of consonants is what makes them harder for some people to hear. For example, a short “o” registers at 250 to 1,000 Hz, depending on the voice of the person speaking. Conversely, consonants like “f” and “s” register at 1,500 to 6,000 Hz. Due to damage to the inner ear, these higher pitches are difficult to hear for people who have sensorineural hearing loss.
Because of this, simply speaking louder is not always helpful. If you can’t understand some of the letters in a word like “shift,” it won’t make much difference how loudly the other person speaks.
How Can Wearing Hearing Aids Help With This?
Hearing Aids go inside your ears helping sound reach your auditory system more directly and get rid of some of the outside noise you would normally hear. Hearing aids also help you by amplifying the frequencies you can’t hear and balancing that with the frequencies you are able to hear. In this way, you attain more clarity. Modern hearing aids also make it easier to hear speech by blocking some of the unwanted background noise.