My husband says I'm loud

I wonder if hearing aids can affect our own voice volume – or our perception of our own volume.

My husband sometimes says that I’m talking much too loudly. I honestly can’t tell. I’m not hearing a difference in my own volume and I’m not aware of any extra physical effort in speaking.

Just as problematic: It doesn’t happen consistently. (We have a friend who always speaks loudly – that’s different.) I’d guess that this started a year or so ago. I of course snapped back once that there’s probably something wrong with his hearing. But I don’t actually think that’s the case. And he’s not gaslighting me! He’s a good guy!

Yeah it does have an effect Seaduck… Although I have the opposite effect, everyone says I speak way too quiet and if I do raise my voice, it seems to me like I am shouting very loudly, when I am probably talking like normal folks do? Perhaps one of the expert Audiologists on here would kindly give there opinion on this and explain the phenomenon in your case. I know mines is probably caused by the “Occlusion Effect”? Most likely sound pressure because I need so much gain for a severe/profound loss?
Cheers Kev.

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Same problem here. My husband will say the same thing to me at times.
I think I have probably always talked on the loud side, but just couldn’t hear myself.
I have found it also depends on the acoustics of the room we are in. When we are in the office, he always tells me I am talking loud. When we are in the living room, he says I’m fine. We now have these small hand signals he gives me when we are out in public and I’m talking too loud .
Funny, my voice sounds the same to me regardless of what room I’m in.

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You’re used to hearing you’re own voice when you speak. As your hearing has declined you compensate and speak louder so you can continue to hear what you say. It’s a fairly common phenomena.

Quite common and it can be regulated easily. Ask the audiologist to increase the bands that impact how loud we hear our own voice.

When my mother speaks too loud, I’ll ask her to tune her HA’s up. Usually, she’ll have them turned down a bit because of the enthusiastic social participation of my daughters.:slight_smile:
When my daughter is too loud, I sometimes force her to wear her Roger Focus and the mic around her own neck. We regulate the amplication of the Focus until she has a normal volume. I try to make her aware of the amount of force, the work her throat is doing. Still…
Anyways, every morning my wife asks me to put in my hearing aids, because I am apparently shouting at her during coffee.

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It’s good to know I’m not alone!

Laura – your comment “my voice sounds the same to me regardless of what room I’m in” is exactly how I feel. I’ve thought about room acoustics – but that doesn’t really seem to be a factor. Apparently sometimes I’m loud in the kitchen or my office, say, and sometimes I’m not.

I’ve also tried to be aware of what Markismus called the amount of force, but I really can’t tell the difference. I will take his suggestion to talk to my audiologist – whenever he’s available again! – but I wonder about the inconsistency of the phenomenon.

There is a maybe related phenomenon: talking loudly on a cell. I know I’m not alone in that, though I don’t understand why it happens. If I talk on the landline in my office, there is apparently no issue. If I talk on my cell in that same room, my husband comes running to close the door.

@seaduck
Do you wear hearing aids at the moment at all? It sounds to me that you don’t.
Maybe your landline phone does not close your ear canal as your cell phone does. In the latter case it seems to you that your voice is halved, because you then hear your voice in only one ear.

My wife is shouting on the phone, too. But that’s because she’s deaf in one ear. She does not hear her own voice at all during telcos.

@seaduck : Is that one of those “do I look fat in this” kinda questions? :slight_smile:
I think the talking loud on a cell phone is due to having the volume louder to hear over all the ambient noise due to it being a mobile phone and being out and about. But then no one turns it down again when talking in a quiet area. So your brain wants to match the perceived volume of what it’s hearing.

Actually, I do wear HAs and am a veteran user………maybe 15 years or so. This problem has popped up in the last year or two. I wear them constantly – pretty much as soon as I get up to when I go to bed.

In case this is another clue: I’m wearing Oticon OPN1 Minirite-T, which I’ve had for almost 3 years. Was a Phonak gal before that.

As for the cell and “So your brain wants to match the perceived volume of what it’s hearing.” I’ve wondered about that. But I can turn up the volume on my landline too. Maybe I’m not doing it as much? Or maybe the sound clarity of having the Oticons beam the cell into my HAs gives the effect of louder volume.

But it’s obviously quieter where the landline is. (other than people or kids around making noise)

That’s the odd thing. I use the landline and my cell in the same quiet office. (No kids/background noise.) So the acoustical environment is exactly the same. Now that I have the Oticons, which connect via Bluetooth to my iPhone (my old Phonaks didn’t do that), I use the landline much less because the sound quality and clarity is so much better when the cell is beaming directly into my HAs.

Maybe your husband is listening too loud.

Get a sound level meter. OK hardware meters are under $50 on Amazon. There are scads of free/cheap SPL meters for cell-phones. Calibration is dubious but you just want to compare your voice loudness to others, not put an exact number on it.
On Android I have used:
“Sound Meter” by “Smart Tools” (but it just posted two offensive ads at me)
“Decibel X (Pro)” by “SkyPaw” (over-kill, and I found “Pro” worth the few bucks)


Bottom needle-meter shows the current sound level. Upper graph shows the last 60 seconds. In an average conversation, this will tend to show both talkers, and how far above the ambient noise they speak. Or whatever sound! Siting here in a quiet house, sound is 32(dBA SPL) but when I type furiously it hits 53.

Occlusion plays a part but you also get clues by sound from throat to headbones or inner ear, breath level, vocal cord sensation. If you have been HoH for a while it may take time to re-learn these rarely noticed feelings.

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Do you hear your suroundings as long as you are on the cell phone? Does the environmental sound have the same loudness as before or after the phone conversation?

I get that too, my husband says I speak too quietly. Sounds normal to me.

Nancy

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Yes, and it’s the same. That’s one thing I like, because it seems ‘normal.’ I can hear surrounding sound while I’m on the cell.

(FWIW – this is a case where people with HAs have it better than normal people. If I happen to be in a situation with a noisy environment, I can turn down the volume on the HAs, and/or turn up the cell volume to compensate.)

The lower you hear others the louder you will talk, your brain believes you need to talk louder so they can hear you. And on the opposite side if your brain believes that they are shouting out you you will shout back at them. I have been wearing hearing aids for about 15 years and I have noticed both cases. I finally figured I needed hearing aids when I first started a job of doing high tech phone support for my IT position and was told I was too loud on the phone, what was happening was I could barely hear the person on the other end and was talking louder thinking it was the phone connection. Then when I first got my hearing aids I was told I didn’t talk loud enough.

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I suspect that’s exactly what’s happening. Although why I have the issue inconsistently when speaking to the same person (my husband) in the same environment is a bit of a mystery.

It happened again this afternoon in a different situation – outside, talking to neighbors (at a 8-10’ distance), with city sounds and cars going by. My husband gestured to lower my voice. I had zero awareness that I was loud. But I have realized, in this era of social distancing, that I sometimes unconsciously edge closer to people, presumably to hear them better.

My husband is always saying the same to me, especially when I’m speaking to my Dad who is also deaf. When we’re both chatting he often mutes his BAHA !!! Also the more excited I get about something, the louder I am he says. But I’ve also noticed that when he speaks on the phone he is also very loud.

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I found this and I love it

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