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Why is it I seem to hear better when I wear my glasses?

This is a typical comment from people with hearing loss. Hearing loss acts like a filter, filtering out certain sounds. Often, consonants are most affected. So if you have a hearing loss, you may be using natural lipreading ability without even knowing it, to help you understand consonants or other sounds that you didn’t quite hear. For example, the words “fifteen” and “sixteen” sound very similar, but they look very different when spoken. If you’re in a noisy restaurant and you can’t hear whether the bartender told you your tab was fifteen or sixteen dollars, you’d probably know which was said by watching his face. Without formal training, we all have some natural ability to read lips and pick up on facial expressions, gestures and other visual cues to help us understand what is said to us. If you have a hearing loss and can’t take advantage of visual cues – perhaps you forgot your glasses, or the speaker’s back was turned, or someone spoke to you from another room - “hearing” is much more difficult. If you haven’t already been diagnosed with a hearing loss, a comprehensive hearing evaluation from an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist is recommended for people who “hear better when wearing their glasses”.

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