Here’s a fun 40 second video Eliza found – it shows an example of what a typical life activity, in this case watching the Flintstones, would sound like to individuals with different levels of hearing loss (mild-moderate-severe).
The blue shape in the graph is called the “speech banana” (no joke) and represents the region on an audiogram where the sounds of speech typically fall. The x-axis left-to-right represents increasing frequency heard (think bass to treble) while the y-axis represents an increasing volume (dB) threshold needed to hear that frequency. The red line shows the actual threshold limits for individuals with the various levels of loss throughout the video.
As the video progresses, watch as the right side of the red line dips further down. Once it dips below the blue “banana” you can instantly hear the speech getting muffled. The further it dips, the worse the effect. It is more typical to have loss at the high frequencies then low ones, hence the uneven slope of the line.
Hearing aides help by amplifying the problematic frequencies, or in the example above, by raising the red line back up on the right hand side. People with “profound” loss, though (which is rated even beyond severe) have too little signal to work with and thus amplification from an aide will not help. That is where Cochlear Implants come in.
I thought this was an interesting way to help visualize the differences, even if Fred was being a jerk…