Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Adjustments

I've been wearing my new hearing aid for almost a week now. My audiologist made some adjustments to it this morning, mainly the fix the problem of "squishing."

"Squishing" is when the hearing aid, in an attempt to make what it perceives as loud sounds more comfortable, compresses the sound. Sometimes this works, but in my case, it was making a lot of sounds, mainly people's voices, muffled. So we'll see how it does.

So far, it works for me. I'm still getting used to hearing more 'soft' sounds, like paper crumpling, pens clicking against the table, fingers tapping at the keyboard. At first, they seemed to interfere with people's voices, but when I thought about it, I realized that I could still understand people, my brain just had to adjust to picking their voices out of the sea of sounds.

Hearing is more than just an ear taking in sound waves. There's a lot of brain work involved as those sounds have to be processed, some noises being tossed into the 'white noise' category, other sounds receiving preferential treatment, and still others being completely ignored so that my conscious part no longer notices them. We all do this naturally, but when there's an adjustment process, it can be a little perplexing.

1 comment:

dwain said...

I saw a fascinating video at the Cincy IMAX about the internal workings of the body, and it included a CG animation of how the cells in the "hearing bones" actually do a dance. For lack of a better word, they dance up and down as the sound waves vibrate the little bones. Absolutely amazing.

In a way, your brain is getting used to those cells having a dance party in your ear!