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(NPR)   I said.... THiS IS WHAT HEARING LOSS SOUNDS LIKE   (npr.org) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, hearing loss, Real Sound, ear plugs  
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7188 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Apr 2013 at 9:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-07 04:56:42 AM
Being married leads to hearing loss, too.

Out for dinner at a crowded, noisy restaurant, I can hear people three tables away carrying on normal conversations.

My wife can say something in a somewhat louder than normal conversation voice, and I'll be damned if I can figure out what she said on the first go-round..

Selective Deafness is real, my friends!
 
2013-04-07 07:41:54 AM
Both of my parents are rapidly going deaf, and they are figuring out the hearing aids right now.  The biggest problem they are running into is that the devices amplify all sound on a particularly frequency range, so if they are in a crowded room, they can hear what you are saying, but it's drowned out by what the other 100 people are saying as well.  Hearing aides are also apparently directional, since neither one of my parents can hear shiat if you are shouting at them from behind.

I've found it far more effective to hit either one on the shoulder when I want to talk to them and then speak loudly in one ear or the other.  At some point I'm going to get them a chalkboard like Gary Oldman used in Immortal Beloved and we'll do conversation old-style.
 
2013-04-07 09:34:04 AM
The noises in my head, make them stop
 
2013-04-07 09:35:12 AM
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeee
pardon?  I'm sorry, I didn't catch all of that.   what did you say?
EEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
 
2013-04-07 09:49:32 AM
In grade school one of my teachers had a crappy hearing aid. If a kid sitting in the back of the room made a buzzing sound, the teacher would swat at his own ears like a fly was nearby.
 
2013-04-07 09:51:43 AM

Lsherm: Both of my parents are rapidly going deaf, and they are figuring out the hearing aids right now.  The biggest problem they are running into is that the devices amplify all sound on a particularly frequency range, so if they are in a crowded room, they can hear what you are saying, but it's drowned out by what the other 100 people are saying as well.  Hearing aides are also apparently directional, since neither one of my parents can hear shiat if you are shouting at them from behind.


Yes, many hearing aids are directional on purpose, so they only amplify 50 people instead of 100 in that crowded room.

The thing is, there's even more to hearing loss that what the article outlines.  As you pointed out, the hearing aids amplify all the sounds. They don't know the difference between what you want to hear and what you don't...that's your brain's job to decide.  That noise is the same noise that normal-hearing people hear all the time.

Another facet to hearing loss is signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) loss.  A typical normal-hearing person can understand speech that is 2dB louder than the noise.  A hearing-impaired person can't understand in that signal/noise ratio.  They might need the speech to be 8dB louder than to noise to be understandable, or even more.  So even if you properly fit hearing aids, unless you can somehow magically make the signal louder than the background noise, they're still going to have trouble understanding.

That's a hard, if not impossible, thing to do.  It is the responsibility of the hearing aid dispenser to convey this to their patients.  It doesn't always happen.  Yes, there are hearing aids that may reduce the s/n ratio, using directional microphones.  But if they can improve the s/n ratio to 5dB, and the person needs a s/n ratio of 10dB to understand in noise, they're still not going to understand.  All the uninformed hearing-aid wearer knows is "these hearing aids don't work."

It's even more complex than this, I've given entire semester-long courses on this subject.  But hopefully this gives you a little perspective on what hearing aids can do.  Remember, the goal is always to in general hear better with them than without them...not to hear everything or hear normally.  It's just impossible, we're putting this amplified sound into a bad ear.
 
2013-04-07 09:52:04 AM
what?
 
2013-04-07 09:53:54 AM
Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.
 
2013-04-07 09:54:09 AM
The "Loss of High Frequencies" one best describes what I hear. It's all muffled, and I'll get probably 60-70% of the sentence if they're looking directly at me, right in front of me, and no one else is speaking. I rely on lip reading to pick up the rest of the conversation.

If I'm in a noisy room I have to rely on lip reading for almost all of what's being said. And by noisy I mean two or three other people talking within 15 feet of me.

/Will not get a hearing aid. I kinda like my quiet world and I don't want to amplify noises like crying babies.
 
2013-04-07 09:54:52 AM
Tinnitus sucks. Keeps me awake at night, and I havent heard "silence" in years. Sometimes I want to cry.
 
2013-04-07 09:55:48 AM

LDM90: Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.


My students always make fun of me because I always think someone is knocking at the door when no one is. I do the same thing with my phone. It's because we know we won't likely hear it when it is, so anything that remotely sounds like a knock, or a ring, we just assume it is and check.
 
2013-04-07 09:58:32 AM
I can't wait to not have to wear earplugs to sleep,  and to not hear my dog 2 rooms away smacking her lips, or that tv buzz, the rattle in the back of my car, my wife
 
2013-04-07 09:58:50 AM

elvisaintdead: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeee
pardon?  I'm sorry, I didn't catch all of that.   what did you say?
EEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


I came here to post this.
 
2013-04-07 10:01:56 AM

Zugarific: I can't wait to not have to wear earplugs to sleep,  and to not hear my dog 2 rooms away smacking her lips, or that tv buzz, the rattle in the back of my car, my wife


It's my last day of vacation and my dog decided to sing the song of his people at 6 am. I just rolled over onto my "okay" ear, and had my "can't hear a thing" ear sticking up. The place was silent once again.
 
2013-04-07 10:06:56 AM
Everybody sounds like a Charlie Brown adult to me.
Wa waaa?
 
2013-04-07 10:07:38 AM
I've had fluid in my right inner ear for the past day or two, so I'm getting a kick out of some of these comments. But not as much of a kick as I get from trying to whistle in harmony with the ringing.

My mother went for the expensive hearing aids maybe ten years ago, and couldn't stand them. Earguy has it right -- the aids didn't help her understand speech in a noisy environment, and she just couldn't cope with all the racket from the refrigerator/dishwasher/air conditioner/Dad's TV that had been missing for years.

The linked examples do indicate the effects of hearing loss from a strictly physical perspective. But there's no way to capture "what hearing loss sounds like" in the mind, because we can't capture the effect of years of habituation. When your hearing has gradually faded over years, or when your abrupt hearing loss happened years in the past, your brain tries to compensate. The "hyperacuity" and "recruitment" segments may capture some of what it's like, but the "high-frequency loss" one doesn't, as best I can tell -- with HF loss, things "sound" normal to you (just harder to understand), and if you correct the HF loss, things sound horribly sibilant and distorted.
 
2013-04-07 10:10:26 AM

marius2: It's my last day of vacation and my dog decided to sing the song of his people at 6 am. I just rolled over onto my "okay" ear, and had my "can't hear a thing" ear sticking up. The place was silent once again.


I used to could do this but then I got my ear cut open and fixed. :(

Worked wonders when I was driving a delivery and my coworker (hired to shut up and carry things) thinks he's the boss of me.
 
2013-04-07 10:10:55 AM

Earguy: Lsherm: Both of my parents are rapidly going deaf, and they are figuring out the hearing aids right now.  The biggest problem they are running into is that the devices amplify all sound on a particularly frequency range, so if they are in a crowded room, they can hear what you are saying, but it's drowned out by what the other 100 people are saying as well.  Hearing aides are also apparently directional, since neither one of my parents can hear shiat if you are shouting at them from behind.

Yes, many hearing aids are directional on purpose, so they only amplify 50 people instead of 100 in that crowded room.

The thing is, there's even more to hearing loss that what the article outlines.  As you pointed out, the hearing aids amplify all the sounds. They don't know the difference between what you want to hear and what you don't...that's your brain's job to decide.  That noise is the same noise that normal-hearing people hear all the time.

Another facet to hearing loss is signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) loss.  A typical normal-hearing person can understand speech that is 2dB louder than the noise.  A hearing-impaired person can't understand in that signal/noise ratio.  They might need the speech to be 8dB louder than to noise to be understandable, or even more.  So even if you properly fit hearing aids, unless you can somehow magically make the signal louder than the background noise, they're still going to have trouble understanding.

That's a hard, if not impossible, thing to do.  It is the responsibility of the hearing aid dispenser to convey this to their patients.  It doesn't always happen.  Yes, there are hearing aids that may reduce the s/n ratio, using directional microphones.  But if they can improve the s/n ratio to 5dB, and the person needs a s/n ratio of 10dB to understand in noise, they're still not going to understand.  All the uninformed hearing-aid wearer knows is "these hearing aids don't work."

It's even more complex than this, I've given entire semest ...


You are so right. I'm 50 and have been wearing hearing aids since I was 26. NOTHING replaces natural hearing.

/huh?
 
2013-04-07 10:16:20 AM

FARK rebel soldier: being half deaf Worked wonders

 
2013-04-07 10:28:11 AM
Hearing well is another of those things I took for granted when I was growing up. I guess I have the HF loss since I don't notice hearing any worse but can't understand more and more words, especially in movies or on TV.
 
2013-04-07 10:29:52 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-07 10:33:57 AM
www.fakebands.com

TURN MY HEADPHONES UP!   TURN 'EM UP!
HUH? WHAT?
PUT SOME TREBLE IN IT........
 
2013-04-07 10:34:24 AM
I lost 90% of my hearing in one ear after an infection following tubes stuffed in there. I lost 40% in the other after a bout of pnuemonia. I still get dizzy pretty easily but for the most part, decades later I don't notice and most of that hearing has recovered. I learned at an early age to read lips and body language to train my brain to work out what people are saying (to this day I know only some rudimentary sign).

I didn't realize how much I was relying on lip reading until my glasses broke a few weeks ago and I had to go to the store for groceries. I nearly had a panic attack in the produce section.
 
GBB
2013-04-07 10:42:58 AM
I was a horrible grandson.  When my parents told me my grandparents were going deaf and I had to start speaking up when talking to them, I had a brilliant idea of joking with them and doing the whole Chevy Chase "broken mic" gag from the end of Spies Like Us.

I didn't think my cunning plan through.

I thought it was funny as hell.
 
2013-04-07 10:44:46 AM
Played in bands for years and have lost a good amount of high frequency. I find it annoying that most people I talk to are under the impression that I am just not listening to them when I am really just trying to figure out what they said. It seems like the mind fills in the gaps and the listener is left to figure out what makes the most sense based on what they clearly heard.
 
2013-04-07 10:44:50 AM
Can't forget about Tinnitus, either.

http://youtu.be/2mV-Z54fiBo
 
2013-04-07 10:47:44 AM

LDM90: Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.


I worked with a lady who needed one but had too much pride, or something.  I think she was compensating with lip reading.  One day in the break room, we were chatting about recycling, and she followed my remarks while looking at my face.  When she turned away I asked, "Did you know the average American uses 27,000 plastic bags a day?"

She turned around and replied, "That's awful."  And then confirmed she'd not really understood what I had said.
 
2013-04-07 10:58:59 AM

marius2: The "Loss of High Frequencies" one best describes what I hear. It's all muffled, and I'll get probably 60-70% of the sentence if they're looking directly at me, right in front of me, and no one else is speaking. I rely on lip reading to pick up the rest of the conversation.

If I'm in a noisy room I have to rely on lip reading for almost all of what's being said. And by noisy I mean two or three other people talking within 15 feet of me.

/Will not get a hearing aid. I kinda like my quiet world and I don't want to amplify noises like crying babies.


I've had high freq/low sounds hearing loss since birth, and had hearing aids up until I was about 11-12. I hated the damned things. Like others have said it amplifies everything and drove me nuts. Not to mention having hearing aids, the big over the ear "Evinrude Motors" ones like someone used to call them, led to shiat tons of teasing. Haven't worn them since. Funny that the hearing loss prevented me from joining the Air Force, but the Army let me join, and be communications.

/still can't completely understand what's being said in the unaltered sound file unless I'm wearing headphones.
 
2013-04-07 11:05:42 AM

SoupJohnB: LDM90: Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.

I worked with a lady who needed one but had too much pride, or something.  I think she was compensating with lip reading.  One day in the break room, we were chatting about recycling, and she followed my remarks while looking at my face.  When she turned away I asked, "Did you know the average American uses 27,000 plastic bags a day?"

She turned around and replied, "That's awful."  And then confirmed she'd not really understood what I had said.


Man, I tell ya.  Nothing gets the ol' blood pumping quite like tricking people into admitting a disability that they've been trying to keep private!
 
2013-04-07 11:07:10 AM
I wish they had an example for low-frequency hearing loss. My hearing loss is conductive and not severe enough to warrant correction since I can follow speech well enough. I don't hear conversations as well as the next person and use some lip reading, but my real problem is music or low-pitched noises (like dogs growling).

I studied music in university. Had I known at the outset that my hearing loss wasn't uniform across frequencies and that I'm practically deaf in the lower frequencies, I might have thought my cunning plan through a little more.
 
2013-04-07 11:11:05 AM
THIS IS WHAT LOSING YOUR SIGHT LOOKS LIKE4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-07 11:12:01 AM

Hack Patooey: Tinnitus sucks. Keeps me awake at night, and I havent heard "silence" in years. Sometimes I want to cry.


Does white noise help at all?  It helped me when I had some tinnitus caused by pain in my TMJ.
 
2013-04-07 11:14:37 AM
Being def was all the rage in the early 90s, especially among urban youth and British hair bands.
 
GBB
2013-04-07 11:15:08 AM

Earguy: Lsherm: Both of my parents are rapidly going deaf, and they are figuring out the hearing aids right now.  The biggest problem they are running into is that the devices amplify all sound on a particularly frequency range, so if they are in a crowded room, they can hear what you are saying, but it's drowned out by what the other 100 people are saying as well.  Hearing aides are also apparently directional, since neither one of my parents can hear shiat if you are shouting at them from behind.

Yes, many hearing aids are directional on purpose, so they only amplify 50 people instead of 100 in that crowded room.

The thing is, there's even more to hearing loss that what the article outlines.  As you pointed out, the hearing aids amplify all the sounds. They don't know the difference between what you want to hear and what you don't...that's your brain's job to decide.  That noise is the same noise that normal-hearing people hear all the time.

Another facet to hearing loss is signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) loss.  A typical normal-hearing person can understand speech that is 2dB louder than the noise.  A hearing-impaired person can't understand in that signal/noise ratio.  They might need the speech to be 8dB louder than to noise to be understandable, or even more.  So even if you properly fit hearing aids, unless you can somehow magically make the signal louder than the background noise, they're still going to have trouble understanding.

That's a hard, if not impossible, thing to do.  It is the responsibility of the hearing aid dispenser to convey this to their patients.  It doesn't always happen.  Yes, there are hearing aids that may reduce the s/n ratio, using directional microphones.  But if they can improve the s/n ratio to 5dB, and the person needs a s/n ratio of 10dB to understand in noise, they're still not going to understand.  All the uninformed hearing-aid wearer knows is "these hearing aids don't work."

It's even more complex than this, I've given entire semest ...


I hate the liberal usage of the word 'impossible'.  I understand that there are things that are indeed impossible, but this doesn't seem like one of them.  We may be in a time where the technology doesn't exist yet to straighten this out, but I refuse to believe that this is truely an impossible task.

Research is finding new ways to test the hearing capabilities of people who have partial hearing loss.  We know that the brain is quite adaptive and can recruit other parts to fill in for deficiencies, to a limited extent.  We definitely have knowledge of signal processing and the mechanics of sound.  To put all these concepts together and create a testing process that can identify and map an individuals hearing loss and then craft a hearing aid to help fill in the gaps seems like anything except impossible.

Of course, I get that it would be impossible to create a device that would give someone with partial hearing loss 100% restored hearing.  But, there should be a way to determine what the individual needs from a hearing aid, and make that happen.  For example, older people might just want to be able to hear speech, so you figure out what their hearing deficiencies are and make an aid that is able to take frequencies in the speech range and recreate them in the range the user can hear, filter out the rest.
 
2013-04-07 11:19:09 AM

bborchar: Hack Patooey: Tinnitus sucks. Keeps me awake at night, and I havent heard "silence" in years. Sometimes I want to cry.

Does white noise help at all?  It helped me when I had some tinnitus caused by pain in my TMJ.


White noise, and ocean sounds, actually seem to make it worse. They block out the rest of the outside noise (cars going by, the dogs snuffling in their sleep, fridge kicking on, etc) but then ALL I hear is the tinnitus.
 
2013-04-07 11:19:10 AM

Louisiana_Sitar_Club: SoupJohnB: LDM90: Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.

I worked with a lady who needed one but had too much pride, or something.  I think she was compensating with lip reading.  One day in the break room, we were chatting about recycling, and she followed my remarks while looking at my face.  When she turned away I asked, "Did you know the average American uses 27,000 plastic bags a day?"

She turned around and replied, "That's awful."  And then confirmed she'd not really understood what I had said.

Man, I tell ya.  Nothing gets the ol' blood pumping quite like tricking people into admitting a disability that they've been trying to keep private!


I was her supervisor, and just trying to help her to confront the issue, privately.  It had become a public issue, as when she began to speak more loudly than necessary, to match what she seemed to think was a normal voice level.

/just a little applied Psychology

//she eventually thanked me
 
GBB
2013-04-07 11:20:28 AM

SoupJohnB: LDM90: Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.

I worked with a lady who needed one but had too much pride, or something.  I think she was compensating with lip reading.  One day in the break room, we were chatting about recycling, and she followed my remarks while looking at my face.  When she turned away I asked, "Did you know the average American uses 27,000 plastic bags a day?"

She turned around and replied, "That's awful."  And then confirmed she'd not really understood what I had said.


Now you just have to figure out a way to differentiate if she has a hearing problem or a I'm-not-paying-attention-to-what-you're-talking-about-but-I'll-nod-and -agree-anyway problem.
 
2013-04-07 11:30:25 AM
As someone with hearing loss, I'm getting a kick out of this thread.

/oh wait....
 
2013-04-07 11:41:28 AM

GBB: SoupJohnB: LDM90: Heh, I worked with a lady who got up to answer a phone that wasn't ringing. Can't remember if she needed a hearing aid or had a bad one.

I worked with a lady who needed one but had too much pride, or something.  I think she was compensating with lip reading.  One day in the break room, we were chatting about recycling, and she followed my remarks while looking at my face.  When she turned away I asked, "Did you know the average American uses 27,000 plastic bags a day?"

She turned around and replied, "That's awful."  And then confirmed she'd not really understood what I had said.

Now you just have to figure out a way to differentiate if she has a hearing problem or a I'm-not-paying-attention-to-what-you're-talking-about-but-I'll-nod-and -agree-anyway problem.


That point is well-taken!
 
2013-04-07 11:58:51 AM
tvmedia.ign.com
 
2013-04-07 11:59:54 AM
I said EXCESSIVE MASTURBATION MAKES YOU DEEF ....

Drunk in bar one night to my wife.
 
2013-04-07 12:13:19 PM
Costco hearing centers do not sell on commission, have good hearing devices, and cost far less than most (for me $1800 vs up to $7600). Hearing tests are free, no obligation by appropriate staff. They were a BIG help for me and I would recommend strongly that they be given due consideration for those in need.
 
2013-04-07 12:27:28 PM
My headline was better.

My butt hurts, also.
 
2013-04-07 12:42:26 PM
Twat?  I coont hear you.

Lettuce sea if that gets filtered.
 
2013-04-07 12:51:20 PM

marius2: The "Loss of High Frequencies" one best describes what I hear. It's all muffled, and I'll get probably 60-70% of the sentence if they're looking directly at me, right in front of me, and no one else is speaking. I rely on lip reading to pick up the rest of the conversation.

If I'm in a noisy room I have to rely on lip reading for almost all of what's being said. And by noisy I mean two or three other people talking within 15 feet of me.

/Will not get a hearing aid. I kinda like my quiet world and I don't want to amplify noises like crying babies.


Yep, that's all been my experience, too. Nothing makes the boss happier than having to repeat himself three times.  With frequency hearing loss, they can repeat themselves all day, and there are sounds that the person with hearing loss will NEVER hear, regardless of how loud you shout it.  Using a combo of lip reading, gesture interpretation and facial expressions is how hard of hearing people get by in the hearing world without pissing off too many hearing people.

I just got my first-ever hearing aid a few months ago, and it's totally worth it. I can hear high-frequency sounds I haven't ever heard. Bird songs and water running from the tap sound beautiful, like music. I no longer have to be looking someone in the face to "hear" what they're saying, and sometimes I feel like a  spy because I can hear other peoples' conversations now. I still have trouble weeding out background noise ("the cocktail party effect"), and can't tell what direction some sounds are coming from (Which phone's ringing? Where's the ambulance?), but hearing the beautiful sounds and being able to converse better makes up for it.

As for the crying baby thing? Avoid Wal-Mart. That place is the epicenter of screaming children.
 
2013-04-07 01:19:48 PM
I have mild hearing loss, in the speech range. So, everything else is absurdly loud but voices are quieter. It sucks. I have to turn up the TV to hear the voices in quiet scenes and then there's an explosion and its deafening. So I end up turning the TV on 'night mode' to compress the audio.

Most voices in conversation I can hear fine but mom is a low talker.
 
2013-04-07 01:27:22 PM
Tangent, but "easy enough to restore 20/20 vision" my ass. I have never had better than 20/40 and I never will. I'm going to need new corneas before I'm middle-aged. So suck it.

Anyway, half my office is deaf, and the one guy who won't admit it is super condescending when you "mumble" while speaking to him. "Mumble what? I can never understand you." Look at me when I talk, asshole.
 
2013-04-07 01:35:27 PM
WordyGrrl:

Yep, that's all been my experience, too.

I've not gone a second date with a girl once because she got annoyed that I asked her to repeat something three times. I knew the relationship was never going to work, hah. I tell people to just get used to me asking "What?"

I'm glad the hearing aid is working nicely for you :) I'm sure one day I'll get one if I ever feel like I can't be productive, or if I feel I really need one. But for now, I'll just deal.
 
2013-04-07 01:47:12 PM

CaptSacto: Everybody sounds like a Charlie Brown adult to me.
Wa waaa?


Me, too.  But mostly when I have a sinus infection.  And the doctors all tell me it will clear up all by itself.  It just seems to get worse and worse.
 
2013-04-07 01:50:14 PM
An elderly lady I knew had pretty severe hearing loss but vainly refused to admit it.  Her equally elderly brother stopped by one day to visit and complained that he had some loaner hearing aids while his were being repaired and that the loaners were really crappy.

"What's the matter with them?" she asked.

"When I do this," he said, snapping his fingers, "I can't hear it."

"Well, of course you can't hear it," she snapped.  "It doesn't make any noise!"
 
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