Don't Move Closer
June 2, 2020
Wearing a mask seems to be the new norm for many of us. If you have a hearing loss and you try to talk with someone who has on a mask it can be very difficult to understand. People will speak up, talk slower and lots of times move closer. Sounds like a plan....(Don’t move Closer!)
A new study by the National Institutes of Health (published May 13, 2020) has revealed more information on people who speak loudly and the amount of Coronavirus droplets that can be spewed into the air. Apparently, people who talk loud and in are in “close proximity” could leave Coronavirus droplets in the air for up to 14 minutes. So if you are near someone who is yelling then you may want to be further away than 6 feet. You also definitely would want to have a mask on.
Why do some people talk so loud? Usually, it is because of an underlying hearing loss. When we speak.. we hear ourselves through our skull and also through our ears. When our voice travels out into the air...our ears pick it up and naturally our brain balances the level in which we are speaking to make our voice sound natural and normal to ourselves. Thus, if you have a hearing loss and people who speak to you sound too soft and muffled...You get a hearing instrument to correct the hearing loss. The same will be true for your own voice... as your voice enters the air and it is too soft for you to hear it like you used to... your brain will automatically adapt and adjust the volume of your voice so that you still sound “normal” to yourself. This new volume that you have become accustomed too is not necessarily comfortable for others to be around.
If you or a loved one is speaking louder than normal then it is a good indication that there is some degree of hearing loss. (Note: an ear impacted solid with wax can also make a person speak very loud based on the fact that it also creates a hearing loss). Many factors can contribute to a hearing loss. If you suspect a hearing loss then you should reach out to a qualified Hearing Health Care Provider and obtain a complete hearing evaluation and consultation. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!