Why do I have trouble hearing in noisy places?
Difficulty hearing and understanding conversations in noisy situations can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. Aging as well as excessive noise-exposure are common contributors to hearing loss in the high frequencies. If you have a high frequency hearing loss, you hear most sounds just fine. The problem is that you have trouble understanding what you hear. This is made worse in noisy situations. There are a number of reasons for this.
The first reason relates to the nature of high frequency hearing loss. Most of the volume of speech occurs in the low frequencies which you hear very well. At the same time, most of the intelligence of speech lies in the high frequencies. Speech consonants are high frequency and are soft in volume. Due to your high frequency hearing loss you do not hear them very well and therefore speech is unclear particularly female and children’s voices.
The second reason relates to the nature of noise. Most background noise is low frequency-dominated. This low frequency-dominated noise tends to mask or hide the low frequency speech that normally in quiet you hear well.
Finally, high frequency hearing loss is often caused by damage to the hearing organ (cochlea). This damage reduces the audio-filtering abilities of your ears/brain meaning you can no longer separate the speech you want to hear from the background noise.
The good news is that modern hearing aids feature technology to specifically address high frequency hearing loss. In addition to be able to be precisely fine- tuned to only amplify the high frequencies, they also incorporate advanced noise reduction and directional microphone technology to reduce background noise.
About Sounds of Life
Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist. We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.
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