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Scandinavia and the World
Manala Next Door
American In Berlin
Lady of the House
Hard of Hearing
31 1, 3:04pm
There are so many ways people can have difficulty hearing. Hearing loss can range from losing different frequencies (my dad worked in a machine shop and stopped being able to hear high frequency sounds), to just gradual loss of all frequencies in one or both ears.
Then there's the type of hearing issues that have to do with processing, not capability. ADHD types tend to have difficulty changing focus. And they and those who are autistic can often have a difficult time processing language if there are too many conversations going at once; they can hear and probably even repeat the words, but they don't have any meaning. Then there's the problem mentioned, here, where background noise can turn pretty much everything into white noise, even if each one individually could be heard just fine.
Meanwhile, tinnitus is another issue entirely that can range from a constant ringing that doesn't cause any other issues, to a sound that can keep a sufferer from sleeping at night. Tinnitus isn't actually a sound, and those who have it and no other hearing issues can hear soft sounds as well as anyone while the ringing can still be heard, even in a very noisy environment.
I've got fairly strong tinnitus, myself, but am capable of just ignoring that it's there, thankfully. I also have the processing issue where too many conversations robs words of all meaning. I've found that the key to making people understand the issue is to be very blunt. If I tell them that there are too many conversations and I can't focus on them, they seem to get the issue. I never actually tell someone I can't hear them unless I actually need them to speak louder; better to tell them I can't understand them, and then let them know it's me, not them along with how to correct for the issue. Less frustrating for everybody that way.
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