One of the most common misconceptions about hearing loss is that you simply cannot hear things as loudly as you did before. However, the truth is that hearing loss is much more complicated than simply needing to increase the volume on the TV. Keep reading to find out more about the difference between hearing louder and hearing clearer.
For many people, one of the signs of hearing loss is when they find that everyone around them seems to be mumbling. This is because hearing loss can keep them from hearing certain sounds. Even though a person may be speaking perfectly clearly, someone with hearing loss will miss certain consonant sounds which leads to it sounding like they’re mumbling.
This is a perfect example of not hearing clearly. Although volume-wise, you can hear what they’re saying, you may not be able to understand them. They appear to be mumbling. For many people, this is frustrating, but it’s clear that the answer to hearing people mumbling is not to simply turn up the volume. If you did hear them more loudly, they would simply be mumbling more loudly.
Another example of a loss of clarity in hearing is when sounds above a certain pitch are no longer able to be heard. For most people, high-pitched sounds are the first to go. It can be hard to detect without doing a hearing test, but if you’re not able to hear something like a high-pitched alarm or even birds chirping, this could be a sign of hearing loss.
In some cases, your ability to hear music well is affected. Imagine turning the bass way up and the treble all the way down. This causes the songs you know and love to sound strange, distorted, and muted. If you’re listening to music that sounds that way without messing with the controls, there’s a good chance that it’s actually hearing loss that’s causing the problem.
For people that do find that they simply need to increase the volume, this could indicate a different type of hearing loss where volume is the primary issue. For many people, needing to turn up the volume or feeling like everyone around you is speaking softly are some of the early warning signs of hearing loss. This type of hearing loss requires an increase in volume, and not necessarily clarity.
If you are experiencing a type of hearing loss with which you simply need to hear things more loudly, then you might do well with a hearing amplifier. These small devices can actually be bought without a prescription and are considered the “reading glasses of hearing.” You simply place it in your ear, turn it on, and are able to hear everything more loudly.
However, hearing loss where there is also a loss of clarity is a whole other ball game. With this type of hearing loss, it means that the part of the brain that processes hearing has begun to be affected and you need to do more than simply turn up the volume. You will need hearing aids that have technology to help clarify sounds and re-teach your brain to hear them.
No matter what type of hearing loss you are experiencing, your first course of action should be to head to your local hearing center for a hearing test. This test will be performed by a qualified hearing professional who will determine exactly what type of hearing loss you have. They will also be able to give you recommendations for what your next step should be.
Whether you need to hear more loudly or clearly, only an audiologist will be able to tell you for sure, so schedule your hearing test appointment today!