“I just bought you a new car dear”, Tommy told his wife of 50 years.
“REALLY!!! What kind is it?” Susan replied joyfully.
“It’s 3 o’clock Susan, but aren’t you even a little excited about the car?” Tommy scorned.
Hearing “What time is it?” instead of “What kind is it?” can lead to many different emotions for both parties. But did you know that there are two parts of hearing! The easy part is hearing sounds. The second and more difficult part is understanding those sounds that are heard. Most people, even those with severe hearing loss, can hear others talking but are simply unable to completely understand what is being said. This problem, known as poor speech discrimination, is the most common issue we see with hearing loss patients.
So… if you wear hearing aids to amplify sounds so that you can hear them, then you should be able to understand people talking, right? Well, not necessarily!!! You’ll definitely hear the sounds better but it’s the brain, not the ear, that processes speech understanding. Far too many people wait to treat their hearing loss until the brain “forgets” how to process many of the everyday sounds.
Normal “age related” hearing loss can be treated with properly matched hearing aids that allow you to hear the sounds. But it requires time and retraining therapies to regain the ability to understand those sounds. (We call this Aural Rehabilitation)
Don’t delay! Have your hearing tested and treated if required. Early detection and treatment can avoid the aftereffect of lost understanding.