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Is there a hearing aid that helps with this?

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Hi everyone, I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I was in a bar yesterday with a friend and her 8 friends who I don't know well, and whenever I'm in a bar with loud music, I find that I can never quite hear what anyone is saying enough to converse with them, unless they are right next to me and talking directly at me. But everyone else was easily talking to people two and three seats away. So it looks like it is just me. Do you think I have a hearing problem?


Sound itself isn't a problem - I can hear a bird singing 100 yards away and identify it. The problem seems to be telling foreground sounds from background noise.


Is this merely a skill that can be developed if I practice? Or is it something that can be corrected with a hearing aid?


My worry with hearing aids is that a lot of people complain they just make things louder, and believe me it was very loud in there already, so I do not want that. If anything, I'd want a hearing aid that works like earplugs, making everything quieter except what's close to me.


Thanks very much. I don't know much about this subject but maybe you or your friends/relatives have had experience with it... -mfan

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I would certainly get checked out. I know the old style hearing aids made it worse cos they amplified background noise but I believe these days they are much more sophisticated. Why would you suddenly need to LEARN this skill at your age? Did you used to be okay in noisy places?


And are you a musician, or do you listen to headphones on loud? If so, you and others, be warned...

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I've always had this problem in bars/clubs, since I first went to one 15 years ago. But I rarely go to them - so I thought that maybe people who go often have developed this "skill" over time (if it is a skill). I don't listen to any loud music.

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I would imagine most people would have problems hearing in noisy bars and clubs.


As someone who is deaf and wears hearing aids, yes, the new digital hearing aids are much better at amplifying certain frequencies and this can help hearing in difficult situations like you describe. However, in reality the hearings aids don't help that much.


The problem is that speech is at a specific frequency, but often the background noise is at a similar frequency so it is difficult for the hearing aid to filter out all the unwanted sounds. I have a specific programme on my hearings aids that is for noisy situations like pubs, bars etc, but I don't use it much. Makes a tiny difference.


Also, things like feeling tired, or stressed, sometimes makes it harder to hear. If you're worried go and get your hearing checked. If you don't have any problems or your loss is not bad enough to merit wearing hearing aids, you could always try to going to lip-reading classes. A lot of 'hearing people' lipread in noisy environments often without realising it. Maybe that's the skill that you mean?

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The easiest option (I always found) was not to go to those environments! I have never understood how people meet in clubs - I have certainly never been able to hear in there. And over the years I've decided if they aren't 'me' then the others who go there probably aren't going to be that good a match.


One really important thing to know for your future health - that 'after-buzz' you get in your ears after a club... it's a sign of permanent damage to the tiny hair cells in your ears, which help you to hear. They don't grow back. I know I used to feel deaf for hours - even the next day - and I just didn't think it was worth the risk.

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Thanks everyone - I guess it's a combination of a lot of things. People who go to bars/clubs a lot develop a skill for partially lipreading, even if they don't know they're doing it. Also, apparently some people are just better at making out voices in this atmosphere than others because of physical hearing ability.


I'm trying to protect my ears, e.g. when loud sirens go by I put my fingers in my ears. My goal is to hear better than all my friends by the time we're 50.

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