Individuals with just a mild, high pitch hearing loss must use extra concentration to understand speech. They hear partial speech cues and either guess the missing parts, ask for repetition, or do not respond.
Most hearing impaired people subconsciously learn to use visual cues to supplement when their ears are not providing the complete picture. It takes extra concentration and tremendous energy to rely on speech reading.
You physically cannot maintain that concentration level for 12-14 hours a day.
Hearing devices enable the audiologist to provide the appropriate sound to the hearing impaired ear which results in improved hearing for most people. However, the ability of the nerves to function will determine how clearly the amplified signals are interpreted by the hearing impaired ear. In other words, in some cases, distortion of the speech cues may be happening at the level of the brainstem and cortex (central auditory discrimination problems) which cannot be completely “fixed” by enhancing the incoming sound as is done with a hearing aid. If this situation exists, your Audiologist will explain realistic expectations for you.
So, no matter the level of hearing loss, appropriately fit hearing devices will significantly decrease the amount of mental energy, visual stress, and concentration required for successful communication. You owe it to yourself to make your life easier. Consult with your Audiologist or encourage your loved ones to do so at the first signs of hearing difficulties.