I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU, SO I MUST BE HARD OF HEARING

I’m “elderly,” so I get a lot of ads in the mail to come to some office or a special event to have a FREE hearing evaluation. I received one today that offered $1,000 off on their “Elite Basic 100% Digital” programmable hearing device, or $1600 off MSRP on a Binaural Set (Medicaid accepted!)
DO YOU HEAR, BUT NOT UNDERSTAND? it said on the front of the card. Absolutely! But for a number of good reasons, as I will try to explain.
DO PEOPLE SEEM TO MUMBLE? was the second question. My answer: They DO mumble, especially people under 40, and people older than that who are around young people in their work.  People who call me on the phone to remind me of an appointment, or to ask me questions in an opinion survey are the worst. Their words  are child-like and half-swallowed, or have a heavy cultural accent. The serving staff in most restaurants and the clerical staff in medical offices are next to worst.
DO PEOPLE COMPLAIN THAT YOU PLAY THE TV TOO LOUD[LY]? Ordinarily I watch TV alone and have the volume down to about “8”. But if there are people in the room talking over the sound, I have to turn on the “caption” feature if I want to know what is being said. Sometimes a loud air conditioner will muffle someone’s voice or the TV audio, and I will have to increase the sound temporarily, or read the lips of a person talking to me. I think that’s reasonable.
But here is the question I didn’t understand: DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY UNDERSTANDING WHEN TWO OR MORE PEOPLE ARE TALKING? Doesn’t everyone? On the TV news panel shows where everyone is talking [arguing] at the same time, I have to turn it off or switch to something else. NO one can pay attention to more than one thing at a time, and must switch attention rapidly to catch parts of what several people are saying. And that is something through which I don’t care to force myself.
 In a noisy atmosphere, such as a popular concert, a dance club with live music, or most movie theatres, I have to wear ear plugs–and have for many years. Most people don’t protect their hearing, and they don’t think it’s loud in these places. These are the people who go around wearing earphones and who find texting much easier than talking on the phone.
I don’t like noise. I like music below 70 decibels, and people speaking clearly. There is entirely too much noise pollution in our society today. I don’t think I need a hearing aid to understand my friend who speaks with a foreign accent and has a tremor in her voice. And she understands that I may have to ask her to repeat what she says on the phone, and that  I read her lips when we are together. She isn’t mumbling. But until someone finally got the management of our favorite lunch place to lower the volume on their “background” music, we couldn’t carry on a conversation there without yelling at each other across the table!

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Author: b4i4get

I am a 68-yo retired Physical Therapist Asst. living in Texas. Currently I have ~5 dozen webpages, including 3 homepages, an e-novel, and 1 blog. I love cats, writing, and thinking about the big questions. I am also a singer-songwriter, though no one has heard of me--yet.

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