We recently found this great article on the Shots section of the NPR website that we think does an interesting job of pointing out for normal hearing people what it might be like to experience hearing loss.
Hearing and speech research Arthur Boothroyd created several audio clips that you can sample below that aim to give people an idea of how someone with permanent damage to the sensory cells of the inner ear not only hear muffled, quieter sounds but jumbled sounds that garble speech.
Take a listen to the audio tracks below and let us know what you think.
1. Loss of High Frequencies
Most people with age related hearing loss lose the ability to detect high frequecy sounds and since consonants are typically higher frequency this is where it can get tough to tell them apart. Click the link below to listen.
2. Loss of Clarity
Some people also report they have trouble with pitch and therefore a loss of sound clarity will occur. Click below to hear what this loss of clarity sounds like to hearing impaired people.
3. Loss of Weak Sounds
What is really interesting is that in some cases, people with hearing loss say that as sounds get louder they go from being inaudible to very loud. This increase in volume is known as "Recruitment" as it is thought that normal hair cells are recruited to take over for the nearby damaged cells. Sound tends to cut in and out as only noise above a specific volume can be heard. Click below to experience this phenomena.
Did you make out what was being said in these audio samples? Click below for the exact same sentence without any distortion.
Luckily, with the development of new hearing aid technology most of these issues can be fixed with a pair of modern day hearing instruments. If you or someone you know is dealing with hearing loss, you can book a complimentary hearing test with one of our hearing professionals and test drive a pair of hearing aids, no cost or obligation for two-weeks.