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How Your Hearing is Affected by Crowds and Ambient Noise


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Harmony Hearing Centers of America identifies high-frequency hearing loss.

Full service audiologist with the best selection of hearing aids in Orlando FL. See us for hearing tests, custom ear protection, tinnitus treatment, ear wax removal, hearing aid repair.

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How Your Hearing is Affected by Crowds and Ambient Noise

  1. 1.       Harmony  Hearing  Centers  of  America  | (407)  329-­‐4885  |   Discover more great content here:     How Your Hearing is Affected by Crowds and Ambiant Noise Our patients often ask us why they seem to have greater difficulty hearing in busy spaces than in other conditions. Person-to-person conversations and even small group conversations don’t cause them any trouble. But in a crowd, such as a noisy party or in large public gatherings, suddenly it becomes difficult to understand what the person speaking to them is saying, or to distinguish the speaker’s voice from the background sounds. People who complain of this also often mention having trouble hearing the consonants “H,” “F,” and “S,” no longer being able to distinguish one from the other. If this situation sounds familiar to you, it may be an indication that you have suffered some degree of high- frequency hearing loss. Human speech, especially the consonants “F,” “S,” and “H,” fall into the range of sounds between 3000 and 8000 Hz, which scientists define as “high- frequency.” In a crowd, what you hear is a mixture of frequencies, with the high frequencies of human speech “competing” with lower-frequency sounds such as music or the noise of people walking or dancing. People with high-frequency hearing loss tend to perceive the lower frequencies – in this case, the noise – as sounding louder than the higher frequencies, which they are now having more trouble hearing. High-frequency hearing loss is quite common. Some studies have found that as much as 18 percent of the population is affected. One of the possible causes for this condition is aging, but high-frequency hearing loss has in recent years been increasing in teenagers and younger adults as well, possibly as a result of being exposed to overly loud music, and suffering noise-induced hearing loss. There are
  2. 2.       Harmony  Hearing  Centers  of  America  | (407)  329-­‐4885  |   Discover more great content here:     other potential causes, including genetic factors, diabetes, exposure to toxic drugs such as chemotherapy agents, and other diseases. If you are having trouble hearing in crowds and the reason turns out to be high- frequency hearing loss you’ll be glad to know that this can be treated. Modern hearing aids can be tuned to amplify certain frequencies while suppressing others. This makes it possible to adjust a hearing aid specifically for high-frequency hearing loss and better hearing in crowds. The first step is to visit one of our specialists, and make sure that the problem is caused by a loss of hearing. Our audiologist can perform a variety of tests to identify the underlying cause of the problem and recommend the best treatment options for your specific situation.