Although you may be able to hear sounds, you may sometimes miss the actual words that are spoken. This can lead to embarrassing misunderstandings during conversations, as illustrated in the following old joke:
An elderly man remarked to his friend, "It's windy today, isn't it?" His friend replied, "Really, I thought it was Thursday."
These sound voids can be a sign of developing hearing loss. But when should you seek advice from a hearing specialist? Read on for more information.
Sound voids and hearing loss
Sound voids usually affect people who have good hearing in the low pitch area, but poor hearing in the middle to high frequencies. The low pitch range enables you to hear loudness, but it's the middle to high range that allows you to hear speech. Therefore, you may be able to hear a word being spoken without actually understanding its meaning.
Certain sounds are harder to hear when you suffer from sound voids. You may find that particular sounds are missing altogether from words, commonly:
This can make it extremely difficult to differentiate between individual words and can lead to you losing the meaning of the whole sentence, making conversation virtually impossible, especially in noisy environments.
Solving the problem
If you realise that you suffer from sound voids, it's very important that you consult an experienced audiologist and have a complete diagnostic hearing test. This is extremely important in order to eliminate other underlying medical conditions that might be causing the problem.
Sound voids can be eliminated successfully through the use of appropriate hearing aids that address the weakness in your ability to hear sounds in the mid to high tonal range. Your audiologist will try out a variety of hearing aids designed to address this problem and will prescribe you something to suit you.
Once you have suitable hearing aids, it's important that you wear them at all times and that you undergo regular retesting to make sure that your hearing is still good.
If you find that you sometimes miss certain sounds or words during conversations, especially when there is an undercurrent of background noise, you could be suffering from a condition commonly referred to as sound voids. Have a chat with your doctor about the problem and ask them to refer you to a professional audiologist for further investigation. The use of corrective hearing aids should relieve the problem, leaving you able to enjoy the full meaning of all your conversations once again!