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.
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. [Read more…]