Hearing Loss and Room Acousitcs

People who suffer from hearing loss and/or wear hearing aids often experience difficulties communicating in certain environments. For those who hear perfectly, it can be difficult to foresee these environmental obstacles. One of the main contributing factors which may cause problems for those who are hearing impaired is reverberation. Reverberation, or ‘echo’, can be defined as the persistence of a sound after the initial onset of the sound has ended. Large empty spaces are especially problematic. Rooms that are built of hard smooth surfaces can cause greater difficulties because they cause sounds to bounce around the room. Here are some simple solutions to reduce the problem of reverberation for the hard of hearing:

  1. Include curtains on the windows.
  2. Add decorations on the walls.
  3. Place books on the shelves.
  4. Place area rugs or carpets on the floors.
  5. Decrease the volume of the room by including a suspended ceiling.

Minimizing reverberation is a key factor in making communication a lot easier for people who have experience hearing loss and/or wear hearing aids.