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Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !

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Old 03-01-2007, 05:11 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
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_Chris_ HB User
Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !


Hope I can find some good advice here.

I've noticed that over the last 7-10 years or so of my life, I find it very hard to hear "soft" noises, for example, people with quiet speaking voices. I know I have a problem since people stood furhter away from me can still hear the person talking very clearly.

In contrast, If I go to a loud bar, or nightclub, concert, i find the noise totally unbearable. It actually hurts my head, and I often make excuses and leave. So as you can guess, this greatly affects my social life too as I often avoid going out and facing this noise. If I get talking to somebody in a bar/club who has a quiet voice, then I guarantee I won't hear a word, yet friends of mine will hear the person very clearly.

So i know I have a problem, but it seems that I have trouble with different ranges of sounds (if that makes sense). I dont seem to have hearing loss, since I appear to hear loud noises much louder than those people around me.

Can anybody shed some light on this. In all seriousness, its making me lose confidence in social situations and is actually very stressful for me. Is it my ears, or is my brain just a bit slow at recognising noises !?

thank you.

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Old 03-01-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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CAB1 HB User
Re: Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !

Hi Chris,

Start with a good ENT Specialists and have them do the full range of hearing tests. That will narrow down the possible issues you could have.


Last edited by CAB1; 03-01-2007 at 09:47 AM.

Old 03-01-2007, 01:33 PM   #3
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BiggerMac HB User
Re: Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !

My guess is that you have high-frequency hearing loss combined with a low tolerance for loud noises.... not uncommon. (I have it so you could take it as a sign of nobility.)
If so, the ENT appointment is all the more a good idea.
Suggestion: if it comes to hearing aids, sell the family farm and livestock and get the top of the line for your condition. Mine amplify high frequencies, dampen loud sounds and give preference to sound coming from in front of me. I'm completely happy with them but they cost a tad over $5000. (Batteries included.)

Old 03-02-2007, 06:07 AM   #4
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_Chris_ HB User
Re: Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !

Thanks for the replies !

Old 03-08-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
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Boomer2b HB User
Re: Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !

Chris ... The advice to see an otologist is good, and that will rule out any ear problems that can be addressed medically. The next step would be to get fitted for a hearing aid (or two) by an audiologist, either associated with the otologist or independent, perhaps based on references from friends. A hearing test will profile your exact hearing loss audiogram in the various frequency ranges, and the instrument(s) they prescribe will compensate for the loss.

The technical term for the inaudibility of soft sounds and intolerance for loud sounds is well understood, is termed recruitment, and will also be compensated for by your hearing instrument. It is not a disease process, just a common corollary of hearing loss.

The audiologist will outline your options & trade-offs for the cost and cosmetics of the aids, and it is worth putting some effort into finding one that comes highly recommended. It is important to know that a large portion of the cost is the service you receive: they expect you to keep coming back until you are satisfied.

It's also important to keep your expectations reasonable: this isn't like getting eyeglasses to correct a refractive error, which works very well. If (presumably) you have hearing loss due to inner ear degradation, the aid will compensate to a large degree, but can't make you "good as new", just as good as possible. Good luck

Old 05-07-2007, 09:52 AM   #6
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redcdg HB User
Re: Advice ? Soft sounds are inaudible, loud noises are often unbearable !

soft sounds to soft
loud sounds to loud

you may have trouble with hearing aids,
this is called recruitment and is very common with hearing loss.

please discuss with your audiologist.

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