The brain can only decipher the information that it gets. The most common hearing loss could be described as deterioration of the hair cells attached to the nerves in the cochlea that handle high-frequency tones. Speech is made up of consonants and vowels. Those high frequencies are where we find most of the consonant sounds. Those are the sounds that give us clarity and distinction.
The problem isn't that you can't hear. The way you hear is full of holes. It's like playing "guess that tune" where you get a few notes of a song and you have to guess the song. You might get enough notes to recognize the song, or maybe not. Sometimes you just don't hear enough of the right frequencies to understand the words you hear.
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