Startling Sounds

One of our clients is being fit with new aids. The couple came in the other afternoon as a standard follow up, and a few weeks after we all think we have a good program. These few weeks ensure the aid’s programing is helpful at home, in your favorite restaurant, at your place of worship, at your community center, wherever you are socially active.

The wife has been a long time client, so they know we really are passionate and committed to helping you hear your best.

I hear his wife explaining to Karen how he keeps complaining that she puts the dishes down too harshly. How his reacting to her banging of the plates is causing her to get anxious. She further explained how he complains the most about the Corelle dishes. She even gave a demonstration of how she has been sliding the plates and he still complains about the loud sound.

Karen really has a gift of getting to the specific moment of the issue. Knowing these details is important in identifying where the solution can be found. In this situation, there are a few possible issues, the most likely cause is a fragile hearing issue that can be addressed and resolved.

Fragile hearing occurs when someone with a hearing loss is VERY sensitive to perceived LOUD sounds, whether firecrackers, alarms, clanking, or crashing of dishes. They actually jump or get terribly startled by the sound. There are certain tones that are perceived as very loud and almost painful. (This could explain why when someone starts to lose their hearing they find the grandkids too noisy and it is very unsettling.)

Untreated or under-treated hearing loss, over a long period of time, can create an imbalance and over sensitivity to sounds; fragile hearing.

Continuously providing your brain with sounds to process will help balance your hearing and reduce the fragile sensitivity so you won’t be so startled by loud sounds. By wearing your hearing aids all the time, you will HEAR the sounds more frequently and your brain will know whether to pay attention to the noise or to ignore it (auditory rehab).

For this client, we were able to cap the loudness of any sounds. Like a circuit breaker will shut off if there is a surge of energy. His hearing aids were programmed to shut out sounds that are too loud.

If loud sounds startle you easily, call us to review your options.