If you have hearing loss, you’re familiar with the frustration of not being able to understand what people are saying when you’re at a social function or work event. The good is that using hearing aids can make it easier to recognize speech.
Why Does Hearing Loss Make Speech Recognition Harder?
Most cases of hearing loss progress gradually, and signs can be hard to recognize at first. One of the earliest issues people often begin to notice is difficulty understanding speech. You might find yourself asking people to repeat themselves more often or feel as though everyone around you is mumbling when they speak.
Speech is harder to understand because speech sounds are more complex sounds made up of many different frequencies. If you have normal hearing, you should be able to hear sounds from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
However, as hearing loss develops, you lose your ability to hear higher-frequency sounds first, meaning speech can start to sound choppy or garbled. You may especially struggle to hear higher-pitched voices, like those of children.
Hearing Loss Makes It Harder to Communicate
Because speech recognition is harder with hearing loss, those with the condition often start struggling to communicate with others. This can affect every interaction, from chatting with the barista at Vesta Coffee Roasters to trying to have a meaningful conversation with your spouse or children.
Eventually, hearing loss can start to strain your closest relationships because of an increase in miscommunication leading to feelings of frustration and loneliness on both sides. You may also find yourself mentally exhausted from putting so much effort into trying to understand what’s being said. It can become so draining that many people with hearing loss start to isolate themselves from social interactions, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety and even affect their cognitive health.
How Hearing Aids Make Communication Easier
Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids makes communication easier in multiple ways. They do this by:
- Amplifying voices in louder environments
- Focusing on noise that is coming in front of you (like a person speaking) while minimizing other sounds
- Adjusting to the frequency of the human voice
- Making speech sound clearer and richer
- Minimizing background or ambient noise, particularly in louder environments
- Offering programs that can recognize speech patterns
Having an easier time recognizing speech doesn’t just make your life easier; it increases your enjoyment of it as well. Research has found that people with hearing loss report both better speech recognition in noisy environments and a better overall quality of life after being fitted with hearing aids.
To learn more about how hearing aids can help you or to schedule an appointment, call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute today.
Call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute at (702) 735-7668 for more information or to schedule an appointment.