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How Background Noise Affects People With Hearing Loss

Nov 15, 2013 How Background Noise Affects People With Hearing Loss

We have long known that a person who suffers from hearing loss has trouble hearing when there is background noise present. But now we know why that happens, how it happens, and what we can do to help. Learn more…

Even people with normal hearing can sometimes have trouble distinguishing sounds when there is a lot of background noise. But people with hearing impairment hear differently than those with normal hearing, and the background noise can amplify those differences.

Quiet Environments Work For Everyone

A study published in Nature Neuroscience found that in quiet environments, cochlear neurons processed tones the same way in people who hear normally and in people with hearing loss.

Background Noise Is Harder On Those With Hearing Loss

When background noise is present, the inner ear has to work harder to process and transmit sound, and people with hearing impairment have less working nerve cells to do the work. This means that messages aren’t properly transmitted from the inner ear to the brain.

New Studies Tell Us More

Previous studies were done in quiet environments and showed no connection between hearing impairment and how nerve cells worked, but when the studies were replicated in noisy environments, researchers found a physical difference in how auditory nerve fibers respond to sound.

Hearing Aids Help

When there are less auditory nerve fibers working to transmit sound, background noise makes them work even harder, and as a result, they work less efficiently. Hearing aids help to focus and amplify sound, and have been proven to help those with hearing impairment hear better in noisy environments.

Do You Have Trouble Hearing?

Do you find yourself straining to hear in loud restaurants or parties? Do the sounds seem muffled, and you can’t focus on one sound? If that’s the case, it’s possible that you have some hearing loss. We can help. Schedule a free hearing evaluation today!

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