plug your ears to hear better

I’ve had hearing/sensory input issues all my life, and there’s things I’ve learned to do in order to get around this, but I never realized these things work for other people and/or other people didn’t know about them.

When I did this first one at the last concert, the person I was with was like WHUH?!!! So here’s some info. Hopefully it helps.

  • If there’s a lot of noise going on around you (like a concert) and you want to hear a friend talking to you, plug both your ears by pushing each of your tragus over to cover the ear canals and have them speak directly toward one of your ears at a normal volume. You’ll be able to hear them much more clearly.
  • Watch a person’s lips as they speak. Even if you can’t read lips, your eyes and brain will work together to help fill in the gaps if you don’t hear everything that’s said.
  • Turning sound up doesn’t necessarily make it easier to hear because sound becomes distorted through devices at high volumes. If you’re having trouble hearing someone through the phone, TV, or other device, turn the volume down one step at a time until you can hear more clearly.
  • If a friend says they can’t hear you through the phone, pull your mouth away from the phone a little. Too close and your voice is distorted by the microphone because of the vibrations and air blowing over the mesh.
  • Talking really loud and over-enunciating to someone who can’t hear well doesn’t fix the problem, and in fact makes it worse because now you’re distorting your voice even more. Raise your volume just a bit and speak toward them without over-enunciating. If they still can’t hear, raise your voice a little more.
  • Context is huge for figuring out what a person has said. At a crowded restaurant I only hear about 2 out of every 5 words, but if I know the subject they’re talking about and I know the person who is talking, I have no trouble following the conversation.
  • If your ears are getting plugged because of altitude change, be sure to breathe through your nose as much as possible because it works like a toilet plunger on your ear drum, moving it and the fluid in your Eustachian tubes enough to make it easier to pop your ears when you yawn.