The Shaded Area Between 0 and 25 dB Is Where Normal Hearing Should Fall.

Some Common dB Thresholds
    0 dB Threshold Where Normal Hearing Starts
  10 dB Normal Breathing
  15 dB Whisper Dripping Faucet
  60 dB Normal Conversation
  90 dB Lawn Mower Skill Saw
110 dB Chain Saw
120 dB Jet Rock Band


Typical Hearing Classifications

Ability                    Starting dB Threshold                Range of Frequencies Heard 


Normal Hearing                   0dB                                          20,000Hz
Mild Hearing Loss             25dB                                            5,000Hz
Moderate Hearing Loss     50dB                                            2,000Hz
Severe Hearing Loss          75dB                                            1,000Hz

Normally in the 250 to 6,000 Hz range, human speech includes a mix of low
and high frequency sounds. Vowel sounds like u have low frequencies
(250 to 1,000 Hz) and are usually easier to hear. Consonants like s, h,
and f have higher frequencies (1,500 to 6,000 Hz) and are harder to hear.
Consonants convey most of the meaning in what we say, therefore someone who
cannot hear high-frequency sounds will have a hard time understanding speech.


As you can see from my audiogram shown above, I have significant high frequency hearing loss.  As an example, I recently bought a sonic bark prevention collar for my dog, and was about to take it back for a refund, thinking it was defective, when my wife came out to see what was causing the high pitched beeping. She heard it very loudly, from the other end of the house, yet I could not even detect the sound it was emitting.


This sound byte will show you how I hear the world ... This is a large file and may take long to download! 

Sample sound.


You will probably recognize this selection from the movie "Titanic". The selection plays normally, then again, as I would hear it.
Play it through once and adjust the speaker volume as low as you can and still easily understand all the conversation, then the second half will show you how I hear normal speech. When my wife adjusts the TV set so she can hear it comfortably, I can not follow any of the dialogue and when I turn it up enough to understand the dialog, she has to leave the room.

Perhaps this will enable you to understand how the loss of fidelity caused by the high frequency drop outs and loss of volume, combined with the high pitched squealing sounds caused by tinnitus, force me to concentrate really hard to understand human speech.

Before you go feeling sorry for me, remember SSG Brucken, who was also in the fighting trench with me and was totally deaf the last time I saw him.

You should also remember that  in Operation Wayne Grey, 106 soldiers died.  I was one of the luckier survivors.

PS:  If you were there and remember the 105 mm artillery round landing on my fighting position, please email me your memories.  The VA has denied me assistance with my tinnitus, because I can't PROVE MY INJURY WAS COMBAT RELATED. They never put any entry in my medical records about this incident, even though they did award me the Purple Heart for the action.  Guess they were too busy to bother with making an entry into my medical records. The VA in Columbia wouldn't work with me since I had no proof of service connection for the tinnitus and high frequency loss.

PPS:  The VA here in Ashville, NC agreed that the damage to my hearing was classic concussion trauma.  I just got fitted with state of the art hearing aids...WOW!!!!!  I guess I really didn't realize just how bad it was.  It is amazing to be able to hear people speaking in a normal voice and actually understand all they are saying, without having to stare intently and lip read.  Even more wonderful is being able to follow conversations in restaurants and other noisy environments.  Now that I can finally hear reasonably well, I am quite amazed at how well I actually coped without adequate hearing.  I now realize, however, just how much of my mental energy I was expending on the effort of hearing and understanding.  I can't believe I had to cope with this disability for the last 38 years.  Wonder how much better life would have been without that additional stress. 

Just a word to the others of you out there, keep trying...eventually you will find someone who believes you and has the moral fortitude to help.  I know my small problem with hearing pales in comparison to some of you who have lost limbs, eyes, all hearing, but to me it was still a big deal.  Hope you all find a sympathetic ear soon.




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