Human beings are among the most adaptable species in the world, and this is a critical skill to have in our fast-changing society. This adaptability can, on occasion, be a detriment to our physical well-being. While we are quick to recognize sudden changes in our health, we often fail to recognize a slow deterioration. As hearing health professionals, we witness this trend on a daily basis. Our hearing typically deteriorates slowly over many decades, making it more difficult to notice hearing loss. One of the key indicators of a hearing loss is your inability to hear in a wide range of environments.
For many, the ability to hear in noisy environments is one of the first signs of a hearing impairment. As our hearing deteriorates, so does our ability to filter out sounds coming from multiple sources. It then becomes a challenge to keep up with a conversation where multiple people are speaking at once or when background noise is interfering. This is caused by damage to the auditory nerve fibers, which help transmit incoming sounds to the brain. Studies have shown that when an individual experiences hearing loss, their brains function differently in noisy environments.
Even in quiet environments, the hearing impaired can have difficulty hearing speech. This has to do with the complex nature of speech sounds. Any given conversation may range in volume (soft to loud, depending on emphasis or the speaker) or pitch. Women and children typically speak in higher pitch and, since these high frequencies are usually the first frequencies we lose, they are more difficult for the hearing impaired to identify.
While some environments may be difficult to hear in, an individual with a hearing loss may hear perfectly fine in others. Oftentimes, this can cause individuals to delay seeking treatment. On average, individuals wait up to seven years before seeking professional help. With any condition, the sooner it is treated, the more effective the outcome will be.
If you or a loved one has difficulty hearing in certain environments, make an appointment with your local audiologist. As the most qualified individuals in the industry, hearing aid doctors will ensure your hearing device is equipped with custom settings that allow you to hear the most in your surroundings. To schedule an appointment with the best audiologists in Houston, Texas has to offer, contact our office at (281) 578-7500!