Deafness/Hearing Impairment/voices fade, go in and out


My mother is 91 and hard of hearing. I live out of state so talk to her only by phone. To make things complicated, her phone sometimes has a bad connection, so I don't know if this is a hearing issue or a phone issue... After a few minutes of talking to her, she's not hearing the other person. I will yell 'can you hear me?' and she says barely, your voice sounds far away, like it's fading in and out.' Is that a common symptom of hearing loss? Or would it be more consistent? Because like I said, she seems to hear my voice fine in the beginning of the conversation, then says it fades. So I don't know if it's her hearing that's the issue or the phone. Any feedback is appreciated.

What you are describing does not sound like a hearing problem.  I would suspect, on the simple end, a phone problem or, worst case scenario, a cognition problem with your mom.
It really sounds like a phone issue.
If you check the phone out  and find nothing wrong, then I would investigate cognition and her ability to stay on task with a conversation and attention.  I would have her hearing checked as well.  Sometimes it is good to talk with others around her to see if they feel she is slipping in her ability to stay with a conversation.

Thank you for your question.
Kelley Linton, AuD
Doctor of Audiology

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton


I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.


I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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