Hearing is such a personal experience, it’s hard to understand what it would be like to live with hearing loss or the ringing in your ears that characterises tinnitus. These hearing loss simulations are designed to help give you an understanding of the experience of hearing loss.
Below are modified excerpts from a Dr Karl’s Great Moment in Science story “Why do you ‘hear the ocean’ in a seashell?” Each audio file simulates a different type of hearing loss and/or the experience of tinnitus.
Noise-induced hearing loss – an example for a 35-year-old
Here’s how the audio might sound for a 35-year-old with noise-induced hearing loss. This could be from noise exposure at work or during leisure activities.
Tinnitus + Noise-induced hearing loss
We’ve added a tinnitus simulation to the noise-induced hearing loss of our 35-year-old. The tinnitus is the annoying ringing sound that may also make it more difficult to concentrate on what’s being said.
More severe Noise-induced hearing loss
This is how the audio might sound for a 50-year-old with more severe noise-induced hearing loss, which may have developed over a long career with significant industrial noise exposure.
Age-related hearing loss – for an 80-year-old
It’s common for hearing to decline as we get older. This particular simulation shows a decline in hearing ability across the frequency range which makes speech and other environmental sounds difficult to make out.
Here’s how Dr Karl’s audio sounds with no simulated hearing loss. It should be much easier to hear what he’s saying!
Spoiler Alert: Don’t listen to this one until you’ve tried the others first!
Audio credit: Dr Karl, ABC Science. Originally published at http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/05/15/3500938.htm