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Hearing Blog

Why do people speak so loud

September 13, 2023

Have you ever been out to a nice restaurant … relatively little background noise; and someone is speaking exceptionally loud?  You look around and wonder what in the world is going on.  You can see them sitting at the table…but still can’t figure out why they are speaking so loudly.  We have all been in the situation where someone seems to be yelling. 


Maybe you are sitting in church and very clearly you can hear a man announcing where he wants to go to lunch.  OH, GEEZ and you crank your head to see who it is.  Oddly, the gentleman is leaning into his wife’s ear but... he is still almost shouting. 


Why? Why do they feel the need to speak so loudly?  Don’t they think that it is rude?  Well, there are a few reasons why some people speak louder than others.


How we speak may be contributed by our biology, age, culture, and our hearing ability.   The larger our larynx; the thicker the vocal cords, the louder we speak.  These biological parts are bigger in men and therefore typically men’s voices are stronger than women.   When we age, our bodies get stiffer, and it makes it more difficult for us to function.  Vocal cords that stiffen will not vibrate as quickly as when we are young.  This makes our voices quieter and sometimes we overcorrect by speaking too loudly. Culture can also play a factor.  Some families are big and loud... not a bad thing, just cultural. 


Another reason someone may be talking too loud for the environment is that they have a hearing loss.   When we hear... we hear through the skull or bone, and we also hear sounds externally as it enters our ear canals and vibrates the eardrums.   If we get a hearing loss... not only, do you NOT hear other people’s voices at a comfortable level, you also don’t hear your voice as it projects out into the air, at a NORMAL level.  To compensate for this deficit.... We speak up.  Typically, the more severe the hearing loss the louder we will speak.  We are trying to make our voice sound “normal”.   The only problem is that it is very difficult to modulate our voice if we have no idea how loud we are talking to begin with. 


If you or a loved one is speaking too loudly then it is time for a hearing evaluation.  If there is a hearing loss, then wearing hearing instruments will help to put the voice back into proper range.  Everyone over the age of 50 should have a hearing evaluation as a part of their medical history.  To Hear Better Is To Live Better.


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