Music is everywhere. It’s on the radio, in commercials, on television, and in movies. Music is so deeply ingrained in the human experience that you may catch yourself humming without even thinking about it. So it’s no surprise that music is one of the most missed experiences by those who experience severe hearing loss.
But you don’t have to miss your favorite melodies or musicals. Hearing aids can help you find those hidden lyrics you’d never heard before or help you recognize the beautiful differences between a variety of musical instruments. But it’s important to find a hearing aid that works for you and your specific hearing loss. There is no “one size fits all” solution, so it’s important to seriously consider a variety of factors when looking for a hearing loss solution.
Even if you listen to music with the aid of noise-cancelling headphones, the dynamic volume range of all music can vary from “too soft to hear” to “much too loud to enjoy.” For example, take the human voice. Most human speech varies between 30 and 85 decibels. This is the range where most of us live our life and use our sense of hearing. However, music can almost double the decibels with an average of 100.
Older hearing aids would complicate this problem further. The distortions that would occur in music could even make listening to old favorites almost unbearable. But newer hearing aids, like those from the Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, have dramatically improved their music processing capabilities.
The Issues with Older Hearing Aids
Toronto audiologist Marshall Chasin specializes in working with musicians who experience hearing loss. “Most hearing aid manufacturers have now resolved the ‘front end problem’ where the hearing aid distorts the normal inputs of music,” he says. In order to help people listen to music more comfortably, he recommends listening to music with the same setting you’d use for a conversation in a quiet place.
Older hearing aids are often designed to help pick up higher frequencies because those are the ones most commonly lost–especially in hearing loss related to aging. This is why conversations become much easier to hear with aids. However, music has a heavy reliance on lower frequencies, so that is why it’s more challenging for older aids to pick up those sounds.
Luckily, advancements in hearing aid technology have corrected these issues. No longer will you have to compromise your musical enjoyment for fear of feedback or range compression. If you have a newer hearing aid and believe that you are still experiencing some of these issues, be sure to consult your audiologist about adjusting your volume settings or trying a new apparatus altogether.
Consult a Hearing Professional
Musicians and music-lovers may actually struggle to recognize hearing-loss when they listen. This is due in large part to how our brains perceive music–it’s actually entirely possible that you recreate complex melodies in your head, especially if it’s a song you’re very familiar with. But it’s important to try and recognize hearing loss sooner rather than later.
If you believe you may be experiencing some hearing loss, be sure to call or visit one of our two clinics. Our Hearing Aid Specialists and Audiologist can help you understand what kind of hearing loss you may (or may not) be experiencing and can assist you in finding a good hearing loss solution.