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The Tech Hearing Bias

If you have hearing problems inventors haven’t been working with you. There is an age bias as they create their products for the younger faster adopters. And if you have hearing impairment the problem is even worse.

The Important Senses

We all have five senses: vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste Of all senses, vision and hearing are the strongest with research showing that our brains receive the greatest amount of data bits from these senses. Although we depend a lot on our sense of sight, our vision is limited because in a darkened environment the input stops. Second only to a sense of sight, is hearing. Different from vision, our sense of hearing has no limitation since it does not require direct proximity to a sound source.

Although the other three senses play a major role in our lives, their deterioration would not be as heavily felt like the loss of sight or hearing. That said, people who lack the ability to hear scientist believe live a considerably harder life than those that lack the capacity to see often, creating a sense of isolation.

Some Big Differences

Most devices have been developed by the young who constantly crave new and more elaborate technology A recent study conducted by Reuters divided an audience into five distinct age groups: Group 1 (18-24), Group 2 (25-34), Group 3 (35-44), Group 4 (45-54) and Group 5 (55+). According to the study, people in Group 5 (55+) received most of their news from TV, print, and radio while people in Group 1 (18-24) got nearly all of their information from the internet. However, the study also concluded that despite the importance of TV to the elderly, most of the people in this group stated high dissatisfaction with the medium.

Photo by Harry Wood
Photo by Harry Wood

They Can’t Hear It

Reuters found that one of the reasons why older people had difficulties was their inability to hear the TV audio. The people surveyed said one of the reasons was because news anchors spoke too fast. Even though people over 65 watch up to three times more TV than the young, they enjoyed their time considerably less. They also don’t experience the same stress relieving effects of television other people felt. Once again the main reason is that TV is too hard to understand. To compound this issue further, modern television sets are thinner, they value compactness over sound quality. In contrast to the past where TVs had large consoles, today’s sets have little room for manufacturers to add good audio speakers. The situation only worsens when there is a high amount of background noise.

As one ages, you gradually lose your hearing first in the high-frequency range of the audio spectrum. Many people falsely believe that this loss only happens in older people. In fact, men start losing their high-frequency sensitivity as early as 35, and if they have listened to loud music and too loud headphones, this could occur even earlier.

Losing the ability to hear high-frequency sounds is problematic since the spectrum contains consonants which carry pivotal sounds. Conversely, vowels are housed in the lower frequency spectrum and carry less important information.

In order for the elderly to clearly get the news, reporters have to speak slower and have better diction, think of the sound of an old-time announcer. Unfortunately, journalists are more concerned with looking good, not speaking well and thus compounding the problem for their main audience. The trend of the new crop of reporters is also worrying since they seem to be talking faster than ever before.

Looking Good vs Being Understood

Unfortunately, journalists are more concerned with looking good, not speaking well and thus compounding the problem for their main audience. The trend of the new crop of reporters is also worrying since they seem to be talking faster than ever before.How To Adjust Your TV For Better Hearing

One of the biggest day-to-day problems that those with hearing loss experience is the difficulty to understand what’s being said, and not just in face-to-face conversation. Dialogue on your television may be especially hard to hear, with background noise in your home, poor-quality speakers, or just bad sound design within the show itself. Thankfully, modern TVs have a lot of options for you to try and improve your experience.

Some televisions have a preset option to enhance the dialogue, which may be exactly what you’re looking for. Go through your settings and try to find anywhere you can turn up the dialogue audio and turn down the background noise. If your TV doesn’t have this option pre-set, try doing it manually. Turn up the mid and upper range frequencies, and turn down the bass.

Either in addition to or instead of adjusting your audio, there are always closed captions to consider. Your TV should have the option of fairly good closed captions, and especially when it comes to streaming services, these captions have become very accurate and helpful in recent years.

But if you still really want to hear the dialogue, look into some wireless headphones, or consider a more surround-sound speaker system. Bringing the audio output closer to you can help you hear and understand it. Just be sure that if you’re using headphones, you don’t turn up the volume too loud so that it can further damage your hearing.

When trying to understand what’s being said on your TV, turning it up to max volume doesn’t always help you. This may make it even harder to distinguish dialogue from background noise. Try several different technological adjustments, and also try to limit other noises around your home. This way you can focus on understanding the conversations, and not try to comprehend several different types of sound at once.

Things Are Changing

The silver lining to this situation is that new hearing aids have the ability to connect directly to TV through Bluetooth. And as the baby-boomers age and control more and more discriminatory spending there is more hope on the hearing front.

opn-tv-and-music

Turn your hearing aids into wireless stereo headphones so you can enjoy your favorite programs at the volume you choose. The TV Adapter connects to almost any audio device using the cables provided. Stereo sound from the TV streams directly to your hearing aids from a range of up to 45 feet.

Eh?

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

-As of this July, over-the-counter hearing aids (OTC hearing aids) will be available to purchase in the United States. Many people may be curious about this option for hearing loss and what it means for the industry, so here is some more information about them.

What are they?

Over-the-counter hearing aids can be bought directly in stores or online, and are mainly for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. These hearing aids will be safe and closely regulated by the FDA, as well as clearly labeled. There are some differences between OTC and prof

Pros and cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to the introduction of OTC hearing aids. For one, they will make it much easier to order hearing aids online and at your convenience. Over-the-counter hearing devices are also usually cheaper than buying them in a professional or medical setting. However, the price of OTC does not include accurate hearing tests or programming of the devices. The cost of professionally fitted hearing aids is usually bundled, meaning that you are charged for the devices, as well as consultations, tests, and follow-ups all at the same time. If you are new to buying hearing aids, over-the-counter may not be the best way to go, as there are a lot of steps to getting tested and fit for them. professionally bought hearing aids also typically have a longer warranty- around 3-5 years, as opposed to the OTC warranty of around 1 year.

Safety/Concerns about OTC

drugstore photo

For those who can’t afford the entire process of customizing professional hearing aids, buying them over-the-counter could be very appealing. With the introduction of these devices, however, it’s important to be careful where they are purchased from. Buying them from Craigslist, Ebay, or any other websites that look untrustworthy can be dangerous to your health. Once these hearing aids are legal, there will no doubt be many scams, and people trying to make money from them. Just be sure that you are buying them safely and securely.

Many of those working in the health industry may be concerned that OTC hearing aids will steer people away from professional consultations. However, these products will allow the purchase of affordable hearing devices by those who would normally never consider it. This will likely drive many new patients to specialists for consultations, check-ups, and hearing tests over the years. If enough people get behind these OTC hearing aids-customers and professionals alike- the importance of healthy hearing will only become more prevalent in society. Those with hearing loss and those who can care for them will all see a major improvement.

A Noisy Enviroment

Noise Induced Hearing Loss – It’s Everywhere

Symptoms, causes, and prevention tips for (NIHL) Noise-induced hearing loss.

There are over 10 million people in the US alone with noise-induced hearing loss. People with noise-induced hearing loss have it due to prolonged exposure to loud noise. Regretfully, a big number of NIHL cases are preventable.

We are all subjected to sound every day, everything from home appliances, traffic, radios, tv’s, and computers. Normally harmless but when sounds are loud and prolonged, it can lead to permanent hearing damage. The noise damages the sensitive structures of the inner ear.
Some people notice noise-induced hearing loss right off the bat, while others discover it over time. The hearing loss can be only temporary, but other times it can be long-term and impact both ears. Sadly, some people don’t understand that they are damaging their hearing.

The (NIDCD) National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders supports research into the triggers, treatment, and prevention of hearing loss. Research has determined the genes that are crucial for hair-cell function, and details are being explored into possible new treatments.

Researchers are also looking into the protective properties of cells of the inner ear, which might be able to reduce the noise damage There is a public education campaign of increasing awareness with both parents and teens about the causes of noise-induced hearing loss called “It’s a Noisy Planet.”

Who is affected by this kind of hearing loss? It can impact anybody at any age. Direct exposure can happen at work, leisure, and even at home. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that six percent of North Americans under the age of seventy experience some form of hearing loss. Even around 20 percent of people under 20 have hearing loss present in one or both ears.

So what causes NIHL? All type of things.

concert photo

Target shooting and hunting, recreational vehicles, carpentry, performing in a band, and attending concerts. There are also people who lose their hearing following a single intense sound, like an explosion. Sound is measured in decibels. A humming refrigerator, for instance, is 40 decibels. Firearms and firecrackers could be as high as 150. Even sounds less than 75 decibels are capable of causing hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss: The Symptoms and Causes

People exposed to loud noises over a prolonged period can slowly lose their hearing. And since it is gradual, it is harder to detect, and you run the risk of not noticing it and continue to subject yourself to the cause. Eventually, the hearing loss becomes obvious. It’s more than not being able to hear. Here is a list of possible symptoms:
- Buzzing, ringing, or roaring in ears or head, is a thing called Tinnitus
- A temporary hearing loss that goes away in less than two days.
- Sounds that are distorted or sound like they are smothered.
- Trouble understanding speech.
- Sudden and possibly permanent loss of hearing
The problem can get worse as a person ages. If someone has tinnitus, it might continue for the rest of their life. Noises, which are abrupt, sharp, and constant, may just cause temporary hearing loss. This short-term hearing issue is called “limit shift”.

An audiologist performs a hearing test to determine if you have hearing loss. If the test shows that you do have a problem with hearing, the audiologist can focus on ear care and figure out the degree of hearing loss. The audiologist then will identify which frequencies you have difficulty hearing.

There is no cure for irreversible hearing loss. Treatment for a partial hearing loss usually will concentrate on making sure you have proper ear protection, so your hearing doesn’t get worse.
Luckily, there are devices that can help people hear better. It will depend on the degree of your hearing loss. However, some individuals benefit from using a hearing aid. This is a device that you can use in your ear that amplifies noise.

Your hearing keeps you in touch with the world around you and is nothing to take for granted.

In one ear and out the other

In One Ear and Out the Other

How is your hearing? Remember the phone commercial who’s slogan was “Can you hear me now?” In reality, that may be a bigger question than about your wireless coverage. It can be a sign of potential health trouble when questions like that are left unanswered or are constantly asked to be repeated.

hearing photo
Photo by AHTD

Good communication is a give and take, there is a message sender and a receiver. In between, there is ample background noise and mistaken or unheard words. If this happens to you, there may be a concern for your health to consider — your hearing health. 

There are two prominent factors to indicate a problem in the receiver’s ability to hear the message being sent say leading ENTs.

There are two main symptoms with one’s hearing health: “One is tinnitus, where patients complain of hearing a humming, ringing or buzzing sound in their ears that isn’t really happening.” Tinnitus is prevalent affecting roughly one-fourth of the population. 

The second sign of potential hearing loss is when is constantly asking people to repeat themselves, which can be exacerbated when there is background noise to make matters worse.

The two biggest causes of hearing loss in otherwise healthy individuals are presbycusis and the second is noise induced trauma.  Presbycusis is when hearing deteriorates with age. Presbycusis is caused by a blend of genetics and environmental factors that together impact one’s hearing health. Presbycusis occurs gradually, initially affecting the ability to hear higher-pitched, higher-frequency sounds.

The second biggest cause of hearing loss is completely preventable, Noise-induced hearing loss is caused when a person subjects himself to loud sounds without proper ear protection or through a damaging level of noise from such things as ear buds, or a loud work environment. 

Doctors say they are seeing a significant increase in noise-induced hearing loss, especially in the younger population, even as young as eleven or twelve. Essentially or unfortunately, most listening through headphones is too loud.

headphones photo
Photo by TalAtlas

Most signs of hearing loss come from the people around the patient. Individuals experiencing hearing loss often have difficulty in distinguishing words that end in F or S, and the letters T and P are also difficult to understand. 

“These are the words that are asked to be repeated most often. Affected people will also often have their television volumes turned up too loud for the people around them.

Hearing professionals are also seeing an increase in the number of noise-induced hearing loss patients due to being unprotected in loud-level environments. 

“Essentially anything that calls for safety glasses should include hearing protection as well. 

A formal audiology test can easily detect issues caused by noise-induced hearing loss, and with a proper plan developed with a patient, the damage can often be minimized or even eliminated through making changes in a person’s habits and lifestyle.

Construction workers, heavy equipment operators and others are not protecting their ears like they protect their eyes. Even something as mundane as mowing the lawn or using leaf blowers should be seen as a source for hearing loss over time.

shooting range photo
Photo by Wheeler Cowperthwaite

Firing a gun is yet another big area of concern. At a shooting range, both protective plugs and muffs should be worn together. For hunting and in competitive shooting environments, electronic plugs and muffs should be worn. 

The ear’s hair cells literally become damaged. Hair cells are destroyed that once helped focus sound. Once the hairs are damaged, they don’t grow back. Damage can happen even in one unprotected event. 

Other occupations where hearing loss can happen as a result working without protection might surprise you.  These places include beauty salon operators, over-the-road truck drivers, school teachers and choir directors. And when it comes to kids, gamers and kids in band could be affected without realizing it.

Hearing loss can result from diseases like diabetes which shrinks the nerves around the cochlea and your heart, or ototoxicity, which comes from taking chemotherapy medication.

Hearing loss has been linked to a higher rate of dementia in patients who socially isolate themselves because of declining hearing health. 

It’s important to keep your mind stimulated, to keep yourself in the game and to keep on top of your hearing health.

Experts agree the one hearing health measure that has the biggest effect on hearing is the level of importance people place on their hearing health. With or without hearing loss, it’s important to keep your hearing in check and to keep your ears protected. Assessing your daily activities and determining if there is more you could be doing proactively to guard against hearing loss is essential. 

Plus if you have a loved one with possible hearing loss the longer it is left unaddressed, the less can be done to prevent or treat the symptoms. The ears themselves are self-cleaning, but your hearing is not something to take for granted. 

Understanding Speech. Is it My Hearing or Am I Getting Old?

 

Is it My Hearing or Am I Getting Old?

Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Hearing loss can impact a person’s ability to understand and interpret speech, which impairs their ability to communicate. As a result, as we age our ability to communicate becomes more difficult.

When an older person asks us to repeat something we just said, we often assume that they are struggling to understand our speech due to hearing loss. Although this may often the case, a new study shows that difficulty in understanding speech may be due to the effects of aging on the brain, occurring in cases where no hearing loss exists.

University of Maryland researchers Alessandro Presacco, Jonathan Simon, and Samira Anderson published a new study in the Journal of Neurophysiology demonstrating the effects of aging on understanding speech.

In this study, two groups of adults with clinically normal hearing experienced a series of tests that checked their comprehension of speech against background noise. One group was comprised of 17 younger adults (aged 18-27 years) and the other group was comprised of 15 older adults (aged 61-73 years). The tests that the groups were given also tested mid-brain and cortical activity in response to speech in a variety of different environments (i.e. with ambient background noise, multiple people talking simultaneously in the same language, and multiple people talking simultaneously in an incomprehensible language).

The researchers found that overall, the older group had more difficulty interpreting speech, especially if there was a distracting noise in the background, such as a person speaking in the same language. The younger group’s ability to understand speech was also affected by distracting background noise, but to a lesser degree than the older group.

These results suggest that neural processing of speech is strongly affected by the informational content of noise. Additionally, as we age, our ability to process and understand speech declines – especially in distractingly noisy environments. The decline is unrelated to hearing loss and can occur even in the presence of no hearing loss.

Often, we will hear an older person say that they can hear us, but cannot “understand” us. This cognitive decline gives an explanation as to why that is the case. Older individuals with normal hearing may be able to hear you, but their brains struggle to keep up with what is being said.

Co-author of the University of Maryland study Jonathan Simon suggests that older people need more time to figure out what a speaker is saying because their brains have to exert more effort than younger adults. When talking to an older person with normal hearing struggles to understand speech, talking louder is not always a better solution. If someone is having trouble understanding you in a noisy environment, speak to them at a normal volume while facing them directly.

Although some older adults struggle to understand speech due to cognitive decline, the inability to understand speech can lead to a lower quality of life. Inability to communicate often leads to feelings of isolation and depression. Before ruling out hearing loss, get a hearing test performed by a hearing care professional.

Noise-induced Hearing Loss

What is Noise-induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a permanent hearing impairment that is a direct result of over-exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss is caused by irreversible damage to the inner ear and results in poor hearing capabilities.

In the past 20 years, hearing loss has become more common in the younger generations. Some have suggested that this rise in hearing loss in younger populations is in part due to the rise in availability and mobility of devices such as phones, music players, and earphones.

Causes of Noise-induced hearing loss

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by overexposure to loud noises, or sounds. Not all sounds damage our hearing. The volume of a sound and the length of exposure determines whether or not a sound is detrimental to our hearing.

The scientific measure of the volume of a sound is by its “intensity,” which is quantified by a logarithmic decibel (dB) scale that is referenced by the quietest sound (0 dB) a human ear can hear. The louder the sound, the higher the decibel measure.

Sounds at or below 90 dB (lawn mower, street traffic) are relatively safe for extended periods of time (approximately 8 hours). However, sounds at 100 dB (chainsaw or snowmobile) are safe for a maximum of only 2 hours a day. Sounds at 115 dB (loud rock concert) should only be endured for 15 minutes per day without protection.

Effects of Noise-induced hearing loss

Hearing loss effects people in a number of different physical and psychological ways. Those with hearing loss often struggle to participate in daily conversation, regular social activities, and entertainment such as music or movies. Since noise-induced hearing loss develops over a number of years, individuals often think nothing is wrong with their hearing and instead blame others for mumbling. Inability to participate in daily activities and social gatherings often lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

How is Noise-induced hearing loss diagnosed?

Noise-induced hearing loss painlessly develops over the period of several years. As a result, many people in danger of losing their hearing do not realize it until it is too late. Tinnitus – ringing in the ear – is a common early warning sign of hearing loss. However, noise-induced hearing loss is formally diagnosed through a “hearing test” performed by a hearing care professional such as an otolaryngologist.

Prevention

As we get older, our hearing inevitably declines. However, there are steps you can take to prevent hearing damage. Wearing hearing protection such as earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones in noisy vehicles, at concerts, or in a loud work environments will help reduce your chances of losing your hearing. When listening to music, opt for speakers and headphones instead of earbuds and keep the volume to a maximum of 60%.

Treatment of Noise-induced hearing loss

Although noise-induced hearing loss currently has no known cure, hearing impairments can be assisted through hearing devices such as hearing aids and implants. Hearing aids do not permanently “fix” the impairment but they offer individuals with hearing loss a way to reclaim their lives. Modern hearing aids are now easy to conceal and enable those with hearing loss to communicate and participate in social interactions.

Hearing Loss in the Workplace

Hearing loss due to noise-exposure is not always considered to be too much of a threat, especially by younger generations. The possibility of damaging your hearing due to the noises around them may seem unlikely. They go to concerts and loud events without ear protection, and don’t think that will have any effect on them further down the road. But in fact, many people who’ve been exposed to large amounts of loud noise for years are now suffering from serious damage. The most common instance of this? Work-related hearing loss.

It may be surprising to some that hearing loss is one of the most common injuries related to the workplace. But when you consider the millions of construction workers, miners, carpenters, staff at large venues, musicians, and many others, it makes a lot of sense. Even jobs that are not known for being particularly noisy can affect employees’ hearing, as long as they are exposed to the same levels of noise for an extended period of time and don’t protect their ears. Granted, some of these lines of work have specific rules and regulations to limit noise levels. But those rules can only do so much, and when someone’s been doing the same job for years and decades, even low amounts of noise can accumulate damage.

One major factor that influences these workplace injuries is the idea of educating the employees on protecting their hearing. If employees are not told to wear ear protection, or are made aware of what long-term noise exposure can do to their health, then they’ll have no incentive to protect their hearing. Ear protection is often not seen as necessary, but for some workers, it could be the difference between painful suffering, or happy and healthy hearing. Therefore, to keep them from taking off their ear protection, or not wearing it at all, it’s best to train and teach them just how important it is. And companies need to see it that way, as well- giving every employee hearing education and protection may seem to expensive, but in the long run, it helps to insure the health and well-being of all of their employees.

Thankfully, some changes in technology and regulations imply that things may be changing. There are a lot of advancements in medicine towards the prevention and treatment of hearing loss. And there are now certain devices with the technology to alert their users if the noise levels around them have become dangerous. The Center for Disease Control also has a database of tools with quieter sound levels. If companies invest in quieter machines and work to eliminate noise in the workplace, the overall effect will be extremely beneficial.

This technology may be expensive for some small companies to invest in right now, but as the demand increases, it will likely become more affordable and more prominent in the workplace. Companies just have to take the time to educate themselves and their employees on the importance of taking care of your hearing. And an investment in quieter tools, training, and ear protection is completely worth it to preserve a worker’s health and hearing capabilities.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

While many people are aware of the severity of noise-induced hearing loss, fewer actually know how common it is. Hearing loss induced by listening to overly loud music has been found in about 15 percent of teenagers and is suspected to increase with time.

Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, usually shows itself in adolescents through a sharp ringing in their ears after listening to loud music. This phantom ringing is called tinnitus, and is connected to inner ear damage and hearing disabilities. Although most adolescents who notice this ringing don’t think at first that it’s a long-lasting problem, the continued exposure of high volume music can greatly damage an individual’s hearing.

According to research by the American Osteopathic Association, listening to music at full volume for a little over an hour can lead to hearing loss. This amount of noise exposure can compete with the high volume of a rock concert, and wouldn’t normally be too much to worry about. The bigger issue is that most adolescents listen to music for several hours a day through headphones and earbuds. Without proper regulation, it is possible to induce serious and unrepairable damage to your hearing simply by listening to loud music on a regular basis.

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent NIHL. First, you should make sure to limit yourself to listening to music for an hour a day and at a maximum of 60 percent volume. If you lower the volume, you can listen for longer and compromise for when you think you’re going to be listening. Other ways that you can prevent NIHL is by listening to normal speakers instead of earbuds or headphones, choosing headphones over earbuds, and using noise reducing headphones.

Regardless of what options you choose to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, make sure to always stay aware of the signs of hearing loss and be ready to consult a professional if you suspect any damage.

Donating Hearing Aids

Anyone who’s owned or been familiar with hearing aids, eyeglasses, and similar devices know that they can be quite expensive. So you may be hesitant to possibly throw away your previous glasses, your grandma’s old hearing aids, and etc. without putting them to any more use. But don’t worry- there are actually several options for you to donate these things so that those who need them can benefit.

As far as hearing aids go, these are especially expensive, so donating can be extremely helpful to those who can’t afford brand new, custom ones. There are a few great organizations/ programs available for this. The Lions HARP program (Hearing Aid Recycling Program) is a nonprofit that gives refurbished hearing aids to those who can’t afford them otherwise. Similarly, health care provider Hear More Canada has a program- the Help Others Hear More Hearing Aid Bank. Seek out some of these programs when you have old hearing aids from yourself or relatives that no longer need them. You can greatly help those in need in this way.

For eyeglasses, the Lions Club also has a way for you to donate. All you have to do is find your local LERC (Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center) and drop off your old glasses. Volunteers will take over from there and give them to those who need them, in communities that normally can’t afford them. Other type of medical equipment and aides you may have, like wheelchairs, walkers, and etc. can be donated as well. You can give these to several different kinds of organizations, or even stores like Goodwill. The Canadian Red Cross will also gladly accept equipment of that kind, as well as canes, shower chairs, and more.

Better TV Sound For Those With Hearing Loss

One of the biggest day-to-day problems that those with hearing loss experience is the difficulty to understand what’s being said, and not just in face-to-face conversation. Dialogue on your television may be especially hard to hear, with background noise in your home, poor-quality speakers, or just bad sound design within the show itself. Thankfully, modern TVs have a lot of options for you to try and improve your experience.

Some televisions have a pre-set option to enhance the dialogue, which may be exactly what you’re looking for. Go through your settings and try to find anywhere you can turn up the dialogue audio and turn down the background noise. If your TV doesn’t have this option pre-set, try doing it manually. Turn up the mid and upper range frequencies, and turn down the bass.

Either in addition to or instead of adjusting your audio, there are always closed captions to consider. Your TV should have the option of fairly good closed captions, and especially when it comes to streaming services, these captions have become very accurate and helpful in recent years.

But if you still really want to hear the dialogue, look into some wireless headphones, or consider a more surround-sound speaker system. Bringing the audio output closer to you can help you hear and understand it. Just be sure that if you’re using headphones, you don’t turn up the volume too loud so that it can further damage your hearing.

When trying to understand what’s being said on your TV, turning it up to max volume doesn’t always help you. This may make it even harder to distinguish dialogue from background noise. Try several different technological adjustments, and also try to limit other noises around your home. This way you can focus on understanding the conversations, and not try to comprehend several different types of sound at once.