dr gostomelsky listening to conversation in the backseatWhen seated in the backseat of a vehicle, many of us struggle to hear the conversation coming from the front. This difficulty multiplies when the speed of the vehicle picks up. Much depends on the model of the automobile. Luxury cars tend to be quieter. Smaller cars are generally noisier. It truly is a combination of circumstance and ability.

Road noise is a mix of low frequencies. To understand pitch or frequency, imagine the keyboard of a piano that goes from bass to treble. Male voices are typically lower in pitch and those deeper, lower sounds provide volume. Speech sounds that help us understand are high frequency. Female voices tend to be higher in pitch. If the rumbling of the car, the tires hitting wet pavement, or when the heat or air conditioning is on, the cacophony of these extraneous sounds will cover up all that you are trying to hear with great effort. Both volume and clarity are impacted.

Setting aside the volume or type of noise, we all have our own innate ability to hear when the going gets tough. The noisier it gets, the more difficult it is to understand. The good news is that the ability to hear in the presence of background noise can be measured during a hearing evaluation. And steps can be taken toward educating and creating a treatment plan.

If hearing in the backseat of the car or a noisy restaurant is starting to wear on you, schedule a hearing test. Difficulty hearing in noise can be a sign that your hearing is changing. Take the step to have your hearing evaluated. You’ll be glad you did!