3. Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
Changes in hearing can cause difficulty for older people. Talking may sound muffled because it is more difficult to hear high-pitched consonant sounds like th, sh, s, f, and p, to name a few. Vowel sounds (a,e,i,o,u) are low-pitched sounds, so they are easier to hear.
This type of hearing loss makes it difficult to:
- hear in noisy places, such as a restaurant or mall,
- use a telephone,and
- watch television with others because the volume may be too high for people who can hear normally.
Shouting at a person who is hearing-impaired only makes problems worse. Shouting raises the pitch of your voice, which makes it even harder to hear what you are saying.
- Experiencing hearing loss
- Relating to others
- "Unfair hearing test" cassette (may be available through your local Extension office)
- Pen or pencil
Note: If the "unfair hearing test" cassette is not available, complete the next hearing loss activity titled, "What Did You Say?"
What To Do
You will be asked to write down 10 words that you will hear on the "unfair hearing test" cassette. Make an answer sheet with three columns labled Column A, Column B, and Column C. The first time you hear the words, some of the high pitched sounds will be taken out. This is how words sound to people who have hearing problems. Write your answers in column A.
The second time, you will hear the same words. This time, the pitch will be normal, but the volume will be low. Write down the words you hear in column B.
Now you will hear the 10 words again. This is what they would sound like if you were wearing a hearing aid. This time, write the words in column C. Good luck! When you are finished, check the answers to the unfair hearing test.
- Which column was the most difficult to hear? Why?
- Which column was the easiest to hear?
- How did you feel during this activity?
- How does this activity help you relate to older people in real-life situations?
- How can you use what you learned in this activity when you are talking to an older person?