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What does hearing loss sound like?

Published: 6/27/2023 12:25:24 AM

Having a hearing loss means more than simply hearing sounds at a lower volume. Hearing loss also affects the clarity of what you hear. Different speech sounds are affected by hearing loss differently, and sounds with different pitches are also impacted in different ways. For people with hearing loss, it means that speech is difficult to understand. 
Sometimes certain voices will be harder than others to make out, and listening on the phone, or in background noise can be extra challenging. With hearing loss, following a conversation can be very tiring because a lot of time and energy is spent trying to make out missed words while also keeping track of the conversation. It all adds up to an exhausting experience that can lead to frustration and confusion. 
Although we can’t replicate the experience exactly, we can use audio simulations to give you an idea of what listening with a hearing loss is like. Check out these examples from the National Acoustic Laboratories. 

1. Kujawa, S. G., & Liberman, M. C. (2006). Acceleration of age-related hearing loss by early noise exposure: evidence of a misspent youth. Journal of Neuroscience26(7), 2115-2123. 

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