April 18, 2011

The Case of the Eh? What? Huhs?

There have been times where I am talking to someone and everything is going well; conversation is flowing and I understand everything being said. Then, suddenly, a constant loud background noise interferes or the air conditioner comes on (if inside somewhere).

What usually happens next is that I get the case of the Eh? What? Huhs?

Suddenly, I am asking the person to repeat him or herself. Parts of their speech becomes unintelligible. I get distracted by the background noises. I fiddle with my hearing aid. I lean in some more and look at the person talking as if I am intensely fascinated in what he or she has to say. I get tired. I get frustrated. Unless we can move somewhere else or the person knows sign language, the conversation we were having has been ruined.

It is always strange how things can change rapidly due to background noise. Most people with typical hearing will have more trouble participating in conversations in noisy areas. But, for those who are deaf or hard of hearing it can be a disaster.


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