Monday, 28 November 2011

Telephones,stethoscopes and....SHOUTING!

I get loads of questions from a lot of people on both sides of the fence. From deaf people who ask how, despite my profound deafness, do I manage to be able to use the telephone- well, it took me well over 25years practice of speech recognition (without lipreading) to be able to use the telephone (usually with the loudspeaker activated which also means no privacy in public). As my hearing loss is predominately of the low frequency kind, I have challenges with understanding most male voices especially if they are not articulate. That was the same strategy I used in picking up low frequency heart, lung and bowel sounds with my electronic (and amplified) stethoscope. Practice and loads and loads of it. Background noises during telephone conversations and auscultation can be very frustrating.

From hearing people, I get asked 'Am I sure that I am even profoundly deaf since I can use the telephone?' The reasons why I could do that are the same as above. That said, I don't relish telephone conversations for obvious reasons.

'Don't shout!!!' Let me clear the air on this. Shouting does not mean that you get heard easier or better. In fact, IT IS A NO-NO! Increasing the volume of your voice make your speech sound distorted. Just don't waste your energy and endeavour not to add to noise pollution by overly magnifying your voice. Distinction and clarity is the focus- not loudness.

So next time you call me or see me face-to-face, better think twice before wasting valuable energy shouting as a way of communication. I switch off very easily! And whispering into my ears? Don't attempt that either. I am a fabuulous keeper of secrets but whispering into my ears don't cut it. *shrug*

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