Why can’t I hear?
Early signs of hearing loss can be subtle. Can you hear people but not always understand what they are saying? This is a common symptom of hearing loss.
Why? In 90% of all cases, hearing loss occurs when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged or not functioning properly. This means the brain does not receive all the information it needs to understand speech.
Usually this occurs first in the high frequency sounds, such as /f/, /s/, and /th/, that become difficult to hear. That’s why women’s and children’s voices sound softer and garbled. Imagine removing all the high keys on a piano and asking someone to play a well-known melody. Even with only six or seven keys missing, the melody might be difficult to recognize. People with hearing loss experience a similar variation of the soundtrack of their lives every day.
Recognizing the need for a hearing aid can be tricky
Because most hearing losses develop gradually, it is common not to recognize it immediately. Gradually the sounds of chirping birds or rustling leaves disappear without you even noticing it. Many people do not become aware of the problem until it starts to affect speech recognition and communication.
Hearing loss is not uncommon
More than 500 million people worldwide experience some degree of hearing loss. You might be one of them! If you are, hearing aids may help you regain your hearing so you can live the life you are used to.