What is loudness recruitment?
People with a hearing loss can sometimes develop loudness recruitment. A person with loudness recruitment is not be able to hear soft sounds unless they are made louder. However, they may be able to hear loud sounds in the same way that someone with normal hearing can hear them. If these loud sounds are made louder they will be uncomfortable to listen to.
Loudness recruitment should not be confused with Hyperacusis.
Hyperacusis is an increased sensitivity to sound. It can occur in some people with normal hearing. Some people with hyperacusis have described it as having the volume control in their brain stuck on HIGH. Normal sounds can become irritating or even painful. A sound may not seem loud to other people, but can be distressing to someone with hyperacusis. Examples could be: the ticking of a clock, a running tap, or leaves being crunched underfoot.