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Hi Hugh,
 
> > Crusty Russ writes:
> >
> >Another problematic noise source is the puddle jumper aircraft in which
> > we are often required to fly from island to island.  I always carry a
> > handful of disposable hearing protectors along with my custom earmolds
> > when traveling.
>
> I also travel with the disposable ear plugs - - also, my lawn mower and
> snowblower have -28dB earmuffs hanging on their handles so that I always
> wear a pair around these appliances (and borrow them for power tools too).
>
> One question that I do have for "Dr. Crusty: (and company :-) is on the
> problem of generally good hearing, but (increasingly) poor ability to
> discern conversation over background noise.   This seems to be the problem
> that I've been having.
>
> -hh
 
First, I ain't no doctor...  and you don't need one to tell you that if
you want to better distinguish conversation you've got to first dig
those old moldy hearing protectors out of your ears!   :-)
 
Speech frequencies are primarily centered in the mid range area of the
audible spectrum.  If you experience a loss of hearing in the mid range
area then speech intelligibility will be impacted.  An important
question to answer is WHY you are experiencing this loss, is it from
noise exposure like Ron Fuller...
 
Ron wrote:
> I'm suffering from the same ailment and had attributed it to many years in
> aerospace and accompanying rivet guns running constantly while I was on the
> air frames.  In my case if there are three different sets of sounds at the
> same time I can't understand a word said to me. I never have talk  radio on
> ever. and how severe is it
 
...or Lee Bell who enjoyed shooting for many years without the benefit
of hearing protectors.  The source noise from both of these two examples
contain extreme transient sounds that are known to contribute to hearing
loss, particularly in the speech intelligibility range.  In spite of
your sensible and commendable precautions at wearing hearing protection,
perhaps it is some other noise exposure causing a problem that you
haven't identified yet.
 
Another important step is to quantify the loss.  Seeing a hearing
specialist can help identify what, if any, loss you are experiencing and
they can help identify isolated events or long term exposure that may be
causing a problem.  Auditory checkups are not expensive, not painful,
and not stressful, and it's very interesting to find out just how well
you hear in each ear and in comparison to normal averages for age and
gender.  Even if you find there is significant hearing loss, the
ear/brain system is amazing in its ability to compensate -lip reading
Lee is a perfect example- and there is assistance in the way of hearing
aids and even surgery.
 
Perhaps you're just getting old and crotchety like Meeester Feeeesh and
are finding less and less of interest to listen to. <BWG>
 
Best regards,
Russ