A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Fast Talking Friends

In Hearing aids, Hearing Loss on October 9, 2008 at 10:42 am

This is NOT a rant (well, maybe a little) – just some existential grumbling.

Great news! My recently acquired BTE hearing aids have made a huge improvement in my speech recognition. But mind you, improvement is just that – my SR still isn’t “normal”; I still need most speakers to face me, and though group conversations are better than before, they’re still tricky. The single issue that my new HAs have brought to the fore though, is what I call the “fast talker syndrome”.

These are the same folks that people with normal hearing sometimes find difficult to understand. For some reason, their vocal processor (aka brain-mouth connection) runs at about twice the speed of a normal person – particularly when they’re excited. Given that my own “receiver system” (ear-brain connection) runs about half normal speed at best – even with my HAs – I’m at a real disadvantage when these folks rev up their engine, particularly on the phone. The worst part is that by the time I realize I’m missing stuff, my friend has already gotten 6 blocks down “conversation street” and I’m left in the dust asking for a lengthy repeat.

Not that they (my friends anyway) won’t cheerfully comply, but as “voiced” by others on this blog, I get really tired and frustrated having to ask. Particularly since both my friend and I assume (incorrectly) that my HAs should bring me closer to the normal “conversation zone”. Indeed, I’m aware that I (e.g., my brain) am still in training – I’ve only had these aids for a little over a month. Perhaps some of this will improve for me. Of course, the reality I must face is that I’ll never have normal SR (or any other hearing functionality), at least with the current technology.

What I guess I need in the meantime, is a “Slow Down” button to wear in addition to the “Face Me” button I wear now. Of course, that’s not going to work for the phone unless I get a video rig. Or how about a drug (me or them?) that makes speech (or seems to) slower? The possibilities could be endless.

Paul S

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  1. I understand the situations. I have only had one aid now for a month and while the volume is great, the perception is still lacking. I also though need a slow down button, but for myself! I get to going, and no one can understand me! *smile*

  2. This is an interesting topic. People have mentioned to me before that I talk slooooowwwww. Since I’ve been HH/deaf for so long I wonder if that isn’t a subconscious adjustment on my part to get everyone else to slooowww down. There are some people who when they get to talking, they speak in paragraphs instead of sentences. By the time you ask for a repeat, they’ve forgotten what they said one minute ago. Glad to hear the HA’s are working out better than the last pair.

  3. Know just what you mean. I get the start of a paragraph then there’s a blank space and I get the last sentence or two. I’m just in a daze as to what was really said. Like your slow down button idea. I could use one too.

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