(Last updated Oct 6, 2018)

Talking Too Loudly or Quietly? Consider a Hearing Test

We all know someone who talks too loudly. Maybe you’re told you talk too loudly. Some may dismiss the loud talking of themselves or others as simply a personality trait. While that may sometimes be true, there is a real chance that that “loud mouth” is actually struggling with hearing loss- and they may not even know it. When we lose our hearing, we lose not only the ability to hear others, but sometimes, ourselves as well. Losing the ability to hear yourself as you once did makes it difficult to modulate your level of speech and speak at an appropriate volume level. For this reason, individuals with hearing loss (who sometimes can’t hear themselves well), will assume that others can’t hear them either, and will in turn raise their voice.

If you suspect this may be the case for yourself or a loved one, a hearing test may be in order. Sensorineural hearing loss (nerve loss), is the most common type of hearing loss and many
people struggling with this type of hearing loss do speak louder than others. If the test results indicate a hearing loss, hearing aids should be considered. I’ve seen many patients who consistently talked too loud, but upon being fit with hearing aids drastically lowered their voice. Then, when the hearing aids come out, their volume level goes right back up.

Alternatively, if a person is consistently talking too quietly , it may be a sign of a conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is much less common than nerve loss but can also cause a person to alter their speaking level from what would be considered normal. In the simplest terms possible, a conductive hearing loss is when their is some kind of breakdown in the middle ear and sound is not transmitted to the inner ear as it should be. This can make a person’s speaking voice seem louder than it really is. To test this, give yourself a conductive hearing loss right now by plugging up your ears and speaking. See how when your ears are plugged your voice sounds louder, and you can lower your voice and still sound loud to yourself? For some people with a conductive hearing loss, the same thing is happening, causing them to lower their voice while speaking. Luckily, many conductive hearing losses can be fixed through minor procedures- so a visit to a hearing provider is essential.

If you or a loved one is consistently talking too loudly or too quietly, a hearing test is in order. Find a hearing provider near you to schedule a free hearing test today!

Jeff Hall Jeff Hall Jeff is a California licensed hearing aid dispenser and the President of ZipHearing- one of the largest discount hearing aid suppliers in the United States. Jeff lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and young daughter.
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