The Sound Void: How Hearing Loss Sneaks Up On You

2020-05-18 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

The sound void by Chris Arnold

When you come to your first appointment with us, we encourage you to bring a companion, someone who spends a lot of time with you.

Why is that?

Because they’re able to give us a different perspective on your hearing loss. In fact, your companion probably noticed your hearing loss — and how it was affecting you — before you did.

But how is that possible if you’re the one with hearing loss? 

How Sound Works

To begin with, it helps to understand how sound works. Most people think hearing loss is a question of volume. But that’s only part of the story. Sound is a combination of frequency (also called pitch) and intensity (also called loudness).

Frequency

Frequency measures how fast (or how frequently) a sound wave vibrates. High frequency means a high pitch, like the notes on the right side of a piano, and low frequency means low pitch, like the notes on the left side of a piano.

Intensity

Intensity measures loudness. A whisper has low intensity, and a shout has high intensity.

Frequency And Intensity Together

Each sound is a combination of these two qualities.

  • A baby screaming has high frequency and high intensity.
  • A man shouting has low frequency and high intensity.
  • The sound of leaves rustling has high frequency and low intensity.
  • A rumble of thunder has low frequency and high intensity.

Schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment banner

The Sound Void

Knowing how sound works helps us understand Sound Voids. We use the term Sound Void to refer to any moment lacking in clarity. Sound Voids have a lot to do with why your companion probably picked up on your hearing loss before you did.

Sound Voids happen all the time: Allergies or a cold affect your ears, leading to an increased chance of misunderstanding what people say. Even a buildup of earwax can lead to an increase in Sound Voids.

But Sound Voids are also common with noise-induced or age-related hearing loss. Early on in these types of hearing loss, when someone speaks to you, you miss the high-frequency sounds, such as s, sh, c, ch, p, f, and h. These sounds help you identify words.

With those sounds missing, “cat” could be mistaken for “hat” and “pickle” for “fickle.” With this type of Sound Void, the intensities aren’t the problem — it’s the frequencies.

In other words, you can hear people speaking just fine, but sometimes you misunderstand them. At this early stage, what is actually a hearing loss truly seems to you like a momentary lack of clarity.

You assume someone mumbled a little, or there are more people than usual at the restaurant. Loved ones probably think the same thing.

The Sound Voids Increase

But as time goes on, the Sound Voids become more frequent, and those closest to you start to notice subtle signs:

  • You turn up the volume on the TV or radio, you need statements repeated more often
  • You get tired more easily while socializing in public venues
  • Your companion, by this point, has started to wonder if you have hearing loss.
  • Because you’ve developed coping skills, you probably haven’t truly realized how it’s affecting you or your loved ones.

The Sound Voids Take Over

Eventually, enough of your hearing is damaged that you’re not just missing frequencies — intensity is now a problem, too.

You’re more likely to miss the low-frequency sounds of speech, the ones that provide volume, such as o, i, and j.

At this point, your companion has probably wondered aloud whether you have hearing loss, and you’ve started to realize how your hearing loss is affecting others. This is when many people consider getting their hearing tested.

The Hearing Evaluation

This is why the companion is such a key part of the hearing evaluation: They’ve witnessed the early Sound Voids, the gradual behavior changes, how your hearing loss affects those around you, and your realization that you might have hearing loss.

Their outside observations are an important complement to your internal observations.

If you or a loved one has noticed any changes in your hearing and would like to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment, please click here to fill out the form on this page.

Your journey to better hearing starts here. We hope to meet you soon.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Chris Arnold - Owner & HIS

Growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, Chris went to Durham and George Brown College. As the owner of Arnold Hearing Centres, he manages all locations, as well as handles all the marketing, reporting, meetings, and makes sure that both the staff and patients have a positive experience. Ultimately, there is a lot of pressure on Chris to ensure he delivers results year after year, but he credits the clinic’s success down to the amazing staff that has now become family. Truly, he enjoys working alongside everyone each day.

    FREE DOWNLOAD: THE 5 SIGNS THAT YOUR MAN MIGHT HAVE A HEARING LOSS

    Guelph

    226-917-2838

    Kitchener (Frederick St.)

    226-779-0863

    Kitchener (Greenbrook Dr.)

    226-640-3295

    Simcoe

    877-929-9379

    Waterloo

    226-894-1644

    Patient Care Coordinator Required to Join Winning Team

    Arnold Hearing Centres is in search of a Patient Care Coordinator to join our amazing team. It’s an opportunity to be part of a nationally respected team of passionate people who have built a stellar reputation as the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced hearing care experts in Ontario.

    We’re now seeking someone that wants to join our work family, show us the commitment that we’ll show them and be part of shaping our future, as one of our patient care coordinators.

    To join our team, we care much more about you, your personality, and your career ambitions. From our experience, a great patient care coordinator cares more about people than anything else, they feel a duty to help others, and they’re often willing to go far beyond normal expectations to delight their patients.

    If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, we’d like to meet you:

    • Positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around, great sense of humor
    • Friendly, warm, a people person – and comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone
    • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile
    • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments
    • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
    • Owns it: accepts responsibility, credits others for successes and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem
    • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve
    • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time: often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done

    These statements also describe the people you’ll be working with in our office. It’s the kind of culture we’ve developed, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining that culture. The person we hire has to be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

    This isn’t just a job: it’s a commitment to a team, serving a real purpose, helping people stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy life.

    If that appeals to you, and the above description made you say “Hey! That’s me!”, then we’d love to talk. We want to see your resume, so send that along! We are so excited to find the right fit for this position!
    Job Type: Full-time, 8-5, M-F, Competitive base salary (depending on experience) plus Commissions/Bonuses, Benefits including 401k available, paid holidays off, PTO included

    Experience required in the following areas:

    • Excellent customer service experience is essential!
    • Insurance verification experience is beneficial
    Audiologist Required to Join Winning Team

    Arnold Hearing Centres is in search of a dispensing audiologist to join our amazing team. It’s an opportunity to be part of a nationally respected team of passionate people who have built a stellar reputation as the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced hearing care experts in Ontario.

    We’re now seeking someone that wants to join our work family, show us the commitment that we’ll show them and be part of shaping our future, as one of our audiologists.

    To join our team, we care much more about you, your personality, and your career ambitions. From our experience, a great audiologist cares more about people than anything else, they feel a duty to help others, and they’re often willing to go far beyond normal expectations to delight their patients.

    If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, we’d like to meet you:

    • Positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around, great sense of humor
    • Friendly, warm, a people person – and comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone
    • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile
    • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments
    • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
    • Owns it: accepts responsibility, credits others for successes and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem
    • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve
    • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time: often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done

    These statements also describe the people you’ll be working with in our office. It’s the kind of culture we’ve developed, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining that culture. The person we hire has to be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

    This isn’t just a job: it’s a commitment to a team, serving a real purpose, helping people stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy life.

    If that appeals to you, and the above description made you say “Hey! That’s me!”, then we’d love to talk. We want to see your resume, so send that along! We are so excited to find the right fit for this position!

    Job Type: Full-time, 8-5, M-F, Competitive base salary (depending on experience) plus Commissions/Bonuses, Benefits including 401k available, paid holidays off, PTO included

    Experience required in the following areas:

    • Diagnostic testing
    • Multi-manufacturer hearing aid experience – fitting, programming, Lyric experience a plus
    • Cerumen management
    • Excellent customer service experience is essential!