Hearing Aids and people shouting

Hi everyone, what a wonderful site this is, a wealth of knowledge and advice, so glad I found it.

A little bit about me, I am 48 years old and have suffered from impaired hearing all my life due to narrow ear canals. Over the past few years my hearing has become progressively worse due to age, and now I have moderate hearing loss and struggle even more with conversations than I did before. I can’t hear the TV either.

So, eventually back in November 2020 I decided to get things sorted and got a pair of hearing aids fitted, which I have had since 2nd Dec 2020. I have to say that I am very pleased with them, and have had no issues at all, in fact I am now experiencing all kinds of new sounds, and enriched sounds I could already hear. Conversations with people is absolutely amazing, I can actually understand what they are saying pretty much first time every time. I no longer feel trapped in my own little world of silence!

This leads me onto my main question, and that is how to deal with people shouting. As I have never had good hearing, this new experience is new to my brain, and whilst listening to the birds, the wind, water etc is quite amazing, having to listen to people suddenly shout is an issue.

For example, my wife is very strict with our animals (cats, dog & horse). On the whole, normal conversation is fine at a normal volume. However, when she shouts at them, I am not used to such loud noises and it really does startle me. It’s gotten to a point now where I am taking out my hearing aids when in the house during the daytime, and so I am not getting the full benefit of them anymore.

Does anyone else suffer from the same issue, and will I ever get used to people shouting?

Thanks again for such a wonderful site!

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You can ask your fitter to lower the amplification for loud sounds only, maybe that will help?
And after you get used to this reduction for a half a year or so, you may try again - to keep the awareness when someone is shouting vs speaking on normal volume.

(aids differently amplify sounds of different volume, in 3 steps - they call it soft sounds, normal and loud)

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Welcome to the forum.
It sounds like you are doing very well with your new aids.
Have you talked to your wife about the loud noise issue?

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Great advice, thanks.

Indeed I have, and she will always apologize as she has perfect hearing and has never been faced with this sort of situation. There are some advantages to not being able to hear for all my life, because in the past I really didn’t take any notice of the noise other people made, kind of just sat in my own world. Fireworks and loud noises never bothered me, but now it is a whole new world.

As much as I love the hearing aids, I have 90 days to try them and if I don’t get on with them, I may well take them back. Whilst they do wonders for me most of the time, they are making me grumpy due to the loud noises which I am not sure I will ever get used to. As soon as she, or someone else, including kids, shout or scream, I just want to rip the HA’s out and chuck them.

You have had your aids for about 4 weeks. For some people it takes longer than that to acclimate to all the new sounds. In the meantime you can turn the volume down when needed with buttons on the aids or the phone app or as Blacky mentioned, have your fitter turn done only the loud sounds in the software.

Hang in there. It sure sounds like hearing aids are good for you.

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Good advice, thank you.

Also some hearing aids will very quickly suppress loud sudden sounds, by turning the volume down very quickly and then slowly increasing it again when the noise has gone. Resound LINX Quattro does this, but I suspect that most modern aids will too so getting your audi to enable or adjust that would be a good plan.

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My hearing aids do this when I use the vacuum cleaner, or when I am driving a car which is great. Unfortunately, I think that when people shout, the hearing aids don’t get a chance to react in time.

That said, I doubt any HA’s are wife-proof! :smile:

Knowing which hearing aids you have would help us help you.
Sharing your audiogram would also be helpful.

If you could tell your fitter what you have told us they should be able to fix you right up.

You should still talk to your audi. In the Resound HAs there are different sorts of noise suppression including one that reacts very quickly. Again I expect most modern HAs will do that too.

Also assuming you can change programs in your HAs, either with a remote control or a smartphone app or even just by button pressing on the HAs, you might be able to have two versions of your main program. One would be “normal” and another would be more defensive against unexpected sudden loud noises.

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The Oticon OPN S models use the Oticon On app for your phone so when you need a break or want to do some TV streaming you can turn off the
Microphone. From my experience I don’t believe that you ever get used to the loud noises but it is claimed that the new Oticon More balances the sound stage to copy the hearing that a non hearing impaired person experiences!

Sudden loud noises are quite a big topic for me as well. Even though my high frequency hearing is not very well, I can’t stand sudden loud noises (also without hearing aids). I have not found the perfect solution yet. But as a compromise I set the MPO (maximum power output) of the hearing aid rather low and I use quite high compression (much less amplification for loud sounds than for low volume sounds. I am aware that I sacrifice some of the capability of the hearing aid - specifically in noisy situations, where that gain of the HA goes down and my comprehension along with it. I guess it is a trade off where everyone needs to find his own preference.

Welcome aboard, and Happy New Year!
Your comment about having small ear canals fascinates me, not having heard much technical discussion about that characteristic heretofore. The acoustic absorption in ear canals, as well as any constriction reflex of the canal itself, may need further study by audiologists (?).
In your case, the proper dome fit likely is very important.
Good luck in your adaptation process!