Plants Differ, So Do Parts of The Human Brain (CCL Copyright HearingWellbeing 2012)

Fixing: How To Hear What You Say And Repeat It

It would be  a rare Audiologist who would comment on voice occlusion (losing your speech because you cannot hear it).  There are too many variables.   Originally posted by LipreadingMom, asking for ways to fix it.  I know we can do that.

The problem is the consequence of not hearing your own voice.  You cannot or forget how to pronounce words when you cannot hear them.  Profoundly deaf people will know how this feels as they have never been able to do communication by voice.  some of them may be able to hear gibberish but they have not had a lifetime to work out what the sounds are.

Good news is that deaf children can now learn to pronounce words on a computer.  Pronounce the word and your voice follows a sound wave.  You get them to match and you have correct pronunciation.  This would keep your voice speaking at the level it is now.  How long you keep it depends on how much you can match the sound waves.  It must be easy to do, otherwise children would not do it.

We need to find a system for teaching deaf children to talk and have it developed for adults.  A six-year-old knows 50,000 words approximately.  There are endless possibilities to develop words in your field.  Do you know where to find such a system in your country?

<How We Speak – US Center for Speech>

How Your Voice Works And Nodules on Vocal Chords – really for singers yet useful background info.


2 thoughts on “Fixing: How To Hear What You Say And Repeat It

  1. As an audiologist I appreciate your comments. Audiologists usually think of “voice occlusion” as a bad thing for patients. Many patients complain that they do not like the sound of their voices with their hesring aids because their voice sounds like they are in a barrel or they have a head cold. We usually try to reduce that by venting the hearing aid or earmold. New open fit hearing aids greatly reduce the voice occlusion. Yor comments on voice occlusion are quite different from what I have described above, but you were correct when you said there are many variables. Sometimes it is very difficult to reduce the occlusion of someone’s voice. I now know that I need to think of occlusion as meaning that for some people it refers to their inability to hear their voice. Very interesting.

    • Greg, thanks for commenting. Maybe I’m wrong in using the term voice occlusion, or it has evolved into different meanings for the Audiologist and the client.

      I agree with what you say about people when they first have a hearing-aid or have a new one. They used to sound very tinny, yet competition amongst the hearing-aid companies in the last ten years has made them improve. Cochlear implants are newer and still sound tinny to people who previously wore hearing-aids, so they need to make the sound more flexible, or at least give shades of sound. Twenty years ago my hearing-aid acted like a plug and I would twitch my jaw to release the pressure. The problem was diagnosed correctly by my Dentist. It is a great example of disciplines working together.

      The issue I am talking about is not caused by hearing-aids. It is caused by the individual’s level of hearing going down. The moment it happens, the voice sounds different to the person. They panic because pronouncing the word is not a certainty any more. That must be why I’m such a stickler for pronouncing words properly: I’m trying to remind myself of them all the time. What do you think of the idea here of creating an audio dictionary? Actors speaking in their mother-tongues would work as models to copy, as they are trained to speak precisely. The hearing-assisted person will then have an accurate way of remembering how to say the word. It is accuracy we need but it must be natural. Is there another term for this issue or can you make one up? The people we are talking to here are long-term hearing-aid wearers.

      It is interesting that many of the people reporting this problem are teachers. Their perception is that they must pronounce words correctly, although to give them a break, they will have some leeweay with students who will hear the mispronunciation. Lots of people have the fear of being laughed at; with teachers it is amplified 😉 Personal listeners will help to an extent by cutting background noise, but that is a temporary booster to hearing-aids for people listening and for teachers. I would like to have an audio dictionary as the words ‘hear’ and ‘here’ sound wrong to me sometimes. What do you think about the idea?

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