Does your hearing loss make you sensitive to loud sounds? My latest article for FindHearing, discusses how I handle my sensitivity to noise with the use of noise-cancelling headphones. What solutions have you found? See an excerpt of the piece below.
“We can’t hear you! “Let’s make some noise!” the announcer shouts over the loudspeaker. “Louder! Louder! Louder!” the crowd erupts, yelling in time with the flashing sign on the score board. Everyone is enjoying cheering for the home team. My family happily joins in the ruckus, but I am hunched over covering my ears with discomfort, until I whip out the noise-cancelling headphones I brought for this purpose. Relief. I enjoy attending outdoor sporting events — I just wish they were not so clamorous! Thank goodness I had come prepared this time.
Protecting Your Hearing Should Be Routine
At the sporting event I describe above, the crowd was filled with families of all ages. My handy decibel reader app told me the noise was fluctuating between 80 and 95 decibels. Anything at 85 decibels or greater can cause hearing damage when experienced over an extended period of time. At 100 decibels, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) recommends no more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure.
Almost nobody was wearing hearing protection, save thankfully, for some of the infants. The toddlers and young children had their hands pressed up to their ears or were burying their faces into their parents’ chests. They seemed to instinctually know that it was too loud. The adults seemed unfazed. Perhaps the children’s inner ears are more sensitive or maybe they were simply not embarrassed to find the noise overwhelming.
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15 thoughts on “Does Hearing Loss Make You Sensitive To Loud Sounds?”
I frequently use the mute button on my Oticon hearing aids, effectively turning them into custom fitted earplugs. Loud sirens, subway trains arriving in the station, and jackhammers often are the triggers. Like Shari, I am fortunate that my hyperacusis is not extreme. I recall sitting at the Metropolitan Opera decades ago, behind a woman with hearing aids, who was holding her hands over her ears during much of the performance. Even though my hearing loss does not allow me to enjoy music as much as I did when I was younger, I can still appreciate performances.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with loud sounds.
Both my hearing aid and CI mute really loud noises.
That is wonderful! Thanks for your comment.
I presume you wear noise cancelling headphones over your hearing aids? Doesn’t this cause feedback/ whistling?
I wear in-the-canal hearing aids so I usually don’t have a problem, but if I do, I just turn down the volume. Thanks for your question.
Putting headphones over your hearing aids?
Doesn’t that cause feedback shrieking?
Usually not for me since my hearing aids are worn deep in the canal. If I have an issue, I just turn them down.
I don’t carry noise-canceling headphones.
I wear bose Hearphones, instead of hearing aids, which has been life-changing for me…they really do a great job at noise reduction, at crowded tables.
I carry musician’s ear plugs with me.
You can purchase them at any music store…lifesavers…any time I know that I’m going to be exposed to loud, cacophonous sounds, I just take off the Bose hearphones and insert the little plugs…these work wonders!
Thanks for sharing your tips!
Why, when we are hard of hearing does loud noise bother us? It seems as if it would be something we could hear better, but it’s .not.I’d just like to know the physical reason behind it. I think a lot of my deafness is from a lot of exposure to loud music in my youth. I remember not being able to hear for a couple of days after an evening spent at a jazz club. I began to put cotton in my ears, to my boyfriends disgust. It didn’t help much.
Loook up the terms..
That will explain why we become more sensitive to loud nois3s, when we are HOH.
We are missing inner cochlear hair cells, which are responsible for sending sound to brain..but, they also serve as buffers to prevent shock /pain, which gets sent to hearing center of brain.
Can you share which kind of headphones you have? Are they big and bulky?
I use the Bose over the ear noise cancelling headphones and I really like them. Hope that helps!