Why do I hear but not understand?

We hear with our ears, but we understand with our brain. Our brain makes sense of the noises we hear every day. So if you’re hearing people speak, but you’re not understanding what their saying, your brain, rather than your hearing, may be the culprit.

In a study published by the Journal of Neurophysiology titled “Effect of informational content of noise on speech representation in the aging midbrain and cortex,” researchers discovered that as we age, our brain’s ability to process and understand speech declines, even for those who have no hearing loss.

However, your hearing difficulties could also be caused by damaged hair cells inside your inner ear (cochlea). When damage occurs in the high-frequency areas of the cochlea, speech may sound garbled and comprehension may become difficult.

Luckily, a comprehensive hearing assessment can identify which challenge you face and what can be done to help improve both your hearing and your comprehension. It usually only takes 60 minutes, and you don’t need a referral from your doctor. Request an appointment with a hearing professional today.