Do Loud Sounds Bother You?
People with hearing loss are often more sensitive to loud sounds than people with normal hearing.
If you have sensorineural hearing loss—the most common type of hearing loss in adults—you may not hear soft or medium-level sounds, but loud sounds may seem just as loud or even louder than to someone with normal hearing.
When it comes to speech, you might not hear a soft voice, but a loud voice might be intolerable. As a result, most people with hearing loss have a limited range of comfortable loudness.
Hearing aids and loud sounds
This limited range of comfortable loudness was once a challenge to hearing aids. Because older hearing aids were unable to control loud sounds effectively, soft sounds could not be amplified very much. Clarity had to be sacrificed for the sake of comfort.
Most people with hearing loss have a limited range of comfortable loudness.
Today’s advanced digital hearing aids are much more effective at controlling loudness. Digital hearing aids use compression to automatically reduce amplification as sound gets louder. The amount of compression is custom-tailored to each individual. Soft sounds can be amplified a lot, moderate-level sounds can be amplified slightly, and very loud sounds might not be amplified at all. The goal is to allow you to hear the widest range of sound possible and to preserve both comfort and clarity.
The goal is to preserve both comfort and clarity
You don’t notice these adjustments because they occur about 25 times per second. And because this happens automatically, most hearing aid users no longer need a manual volume control.
Thanks to this effective approach to controlling loudness, most people with hearing loss can now hear soft speech, yet tolerate loud sounds .