This a great question! You hear the prayers because they are familiar to you. Your brain takes in everything it hears, sees, and knows, putting it all together to make sense out of what you hear. When listening to something familiar such as the regular prayers at the Sunday service, your brain knows what is said allowing you to “hear it clearly”. The problem arises with the sermon. Since you don’t know what is about to be said, the brain cannot anticipate it. One solution would be to ask your minister to provide copies of the sermon before the service starts. Then you can read along, you’ll be surprised by how well you “hear”. Even something as simple as an outline of the sermon will be helpful.
Further, it can be particularly challenging to hear in a church due to the echo. High ceilings and hard surfaces such as bare walls or walls with little on them, windows without drapes, hard wood floors etc. create an echo. You can reduce the echo by using drapes, carpeting and fabric wall hangings but this isn’t always practical for churches. That is why some churches use a special amplifying system with headphones for people with hearing loss. If your church has this type of system, give it a try. It will also reduce the echo making it easier for you to hear.Have regular check-ups with an audiologist. Periodic hearing checks and routine hearing aid care will ensure your hearing aids are programmed to maximize your hearing and keep then running well.
Life sounds great! Enjoy every moment!
Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
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