Hearing Aids ain’t able to fix bad English….. Dr. Richard Reikowski, Au.D Family Hearing and Balance Center

Such an unusual statement by an optimistic and kind patient… It definitely caught my ear.

He understands that there are some people who fail to enunciate or project their voices, as he said “hearing aids ain’t able to fix bad English.” With a good laugh, he knew his own language was an example. I enjoyed the humor to his thought. This is so true, as I can recall dining recently in a restaurant having the most difficult time understanding the waitress. The restaurant had very little background noise, but there certainly was a dialect issue, and the much bigger factor was that the waitress’ voice appeared lower in volume than a whisper. I sat in amazement at how difficult it was for me to understand, with normal hearing, and how nearly impossible it would be for anyone with a semblance of a hearing loss to understand what was said. I was able to gather some of the “missing parts of speech” while looking face-to-face at her for lipreading cues.

As a child, we are graded in school on our grammar and sentence structure, but in real-life we often see a myriad of languages, words, and grammar being used that often don’t play by the rules. We are here to help patients with hearing loss to have the best opportunity to hear the best that they are able. This is our commitment, as it is very important for successful communication.


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7 Comments Showing 50 most recent
  1. Marie

    I had this issue once at a wedding reception. I could not hear or understand what the waitress was offering for appetizers. I was so lost! So I skipped out. I can imagine how very frustrating this could be if this was an everyday thing.

    • Richard Reikowski Post author

      I loved the story and agree that it’s also happened to me.

  2. Gail Reagan

    I also have normal hearing and I have a difficult time understanding people with accents, and using improper speech or slang, especially if they speak with a soft voice. So I can certainly understand how difficult it is for anyone with a hearing loss.

    • Richard Reikowski Post author

      True, we all can share the sentiments of problems hearing even with normal hearing.

  3. Jen Subotnik

    I had a friend tell me once, “get your hearing problem checked” to which I stated back to her, get your “mumbling problem checked since you are the only one I have a hard time hearing”!
    We both laughed about it but this is all very true. It’s important to keep in mind that not hearing and not understanding can be caused for different reasons!
    I’m glad that our patients are recognizing the difference as well.

    • Richard Reikowski Post author

      Thanks for sharing! Get your mumbling checked. That’s too funny!!!

  4. Joanne Upton

    When people talk to you it’s important what they say. When you cannot get past the mumbling or dialect it’s important to tell them that you are trying to understand what they are saying. It’s frustrating for both communicators but keep going because eventually you do understand and get through it!

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