I have been told that I miss a lot with a mild hearing loss, just what am I missing?


Susan L Fenrich, BC-HIS*

Hearing loss usually occurs so gradually that you don’t realize what you’re missing.  The world around you gets quieter and quieter, and because you’ve learned to block out many of the sounds around you, you no longer realize they are there.  Since TV’s and radios have volume controls that can be turned-up and family and friends talk louder, you may not even think you have a hearing loss.

What are you missing?  When you listen through hearing aids you notice the following things make noise: crinkling paper, nylon jackets, walking, breathing, chewing, stomach growling, and speech is more distinct than before.

                 Credit – Stuart Whitmore

In the car you hear the blinkers working—you might not forget to turn them off any more.   You hear that the muffler needs replacing.   You can actually tell where a siren is coming from.  Car horns beep. A train whistles. The tires squeal. You remember to take your keys out of the ignition because a bell rings when you open the door.

The front door squeaks and needs to be oiled.  The dogs bark is louder and higher pitched.  Your spouse yells from the kitchen to tell you that dinner is ready—this time you understood.  At dinner, you hear your fork on the plate, and you hear yourself chew and swallow. The dog’s feet click on floor, yet you can carry on a conversation without asking others to repeat.  When you wash dishes, you notice that the water coming out of the faucet is louder than before, almost tinny and metallic.  The dishes clang.  It’s easy to miss these clues when you experience mild hearing loss.

When you read the newspaper, you find it makes noise when you turn the pages.  When you play cards they make noise when you shuffle and deal.  When you move the peg in the cribbage board it ticks. When you take the dog for its walk you fear it might wake up the whole neighborhood. You’re surprised to hear crickets in your yard and an owl in your tree.

You never realized it was noisy to go to the bathroom. The toilet flushing was loud too. When you come back and turn on the TV—you exclaim, “My goodness is that loud.  And I wondered why you wanted me to get hearing aids” It’s time for bed. Your spouse is snoring. You forgot to take out your hearing aids.  Tomorrow is a big day.

You put your hearing aids in after you are showered and dressed. You’re taking your granddaughters to the beach. You hear the doorbell ring. The girls are loud and high pitched. Tears come to your eyes as you can understand them say, “I love you!” in your ear as they give you a big hug.  This is the real reason why you wanted those hearing aids, to hear your grandchildren and enjoy them.   At the beach you hear your grandchildren squealing when the cold water hits their little toes.  The waves make a gentle splash coming to shore.  The seagulls screech above.  Motorcycles roar and cars whir as they speed by.  It is fun hearing the children play at the beach.  You know it is safer for them now because you can hear them call if they need your help.

You are happy because you can hear and understand your family once again.  Now you know what you have been missing.  If your hearing aids make the world a little too noisy, contact your hearing aid provider to see if he or she can adjust them for you.  If you don’t want to miss hearing your loved ones any more, call Welsch Hearing Aid Company at 452-0213 or 1-800-924-2101 to schedule your FREE hearing test today!  Even mild hearing loss is easier to address when it’s found early.