It is easy to take the gift of hearing for granted. Hearing supports connections to the world and people around us. Good hearing supports confidence at work and with family, and it helps people engage in the joys of living.
Since we often pay little attention to the cacophony of background sounds of daily living, we may first fall into denial about hearing decline. Some people are honest about the situation and seek a solution, while there are others who rationalize:
“I can hear everything, I just don’t understand it anymore.” Higher frequency sounds can become more inaccessible in noisy environments, making it especially difficult to understand some women’s and children’s voices. There are some word sounds that become too difficult to comprehend – especially consonants such as f, s, sh, and t. Difficulty distinguishing between spoken words (ie “table/fable,” “heating/seating,” “confine/consign”) robs confidence. Although you experience gaps in what you can hear clearly, you may still believe that you can “hearing what people way,” but you just can’t understand it properly or fully.
“I can actually still hear pretty well, but…” As comprehending spoken words demands more focused effort and quiet voices become impossible to clearly understand, you are also likely to find it too difficult to confidently participate in group activities, meetings, etc. where there is background noise.
When you don’t seek a solution for your hearing loss, you stand to lose much of life’s enjoyment by not engaging in activities you previously enjoyed!