When I was 7 years old I was unlucky to get hearing impaired on my right ear due to Haemophilus influenzae leading to Meningitis. Back in 1973 the technique for measuring hearing was not too good, so they thought I was totally deaf on my right ear for many years.
Becoming hearing impaired on one ear made me have trouble locating where sounds came from. I also had a hard time hearing people talking in a group, and other places where it is loud and noisy. My dad often said that I did not hear when they talked to me and sometimes when I did not want to hear I even just put my deaf ear to them. I do not know if that is true, or if he was joking with me, but children is sometime unwilling to listen so maybe it is true.
I went many years only hearing on my left ear. And I had the same problems hearing the whole time. It was a great handicap being social with people, going out dancing, attending a party, go to pubs and restaurants, walking along busy streets, hearing at school and work and such events. Loud music, people talking loud and other disturbing sounds made it troubling to hear my friends talking. I often ended up sitting isolated in a group of people not hearing what they said. The whole thing made me hate going out. It was really boring. I got nothing out of being there, cause of the noise in the local I could not enjoy my friends or others conversation. People also complainted on me not responding when they were talking with me. And people not knowing I am hearing impaired thought I was rude, un-intrested, to fine for talking to them. But I just did not hear them.
People talking to me when I was talking with someone else on the phone I did not hear.
I also overslept because I did not hear the clock ring in the morning.
Many years later I was sick and tired of hearing bad and applied to the hospital to get a new hearing control and measurement of hearing badly. Now the technique for measuring hearing had become much better and they finally found that I could use a hearing aid. This was about 20 years ago.
It was a great experience getting the hearing aid. From being only hearing on the left side I could hear on the right side too. It really felt like I got the whole of my right side of my head back. I was whole again. It was a time of a fantastic feeling. I also experienced for the first time to be able to lie down on my sofa on my good left ear on a pillow and could hear the tv anyway! That was wonderful! Before I could not hear the tv at all covering my left ear.
December 2010 my old hearing aid was 20 years old, outdated and I did not feel it did the job anymore. I searched the hospital where I live now for a new hearing aid because I had trouble hearing at work and in the car driving with friends in the passenger seat. My new hearing aid is fantastic. While the old one was an analogue one, my new hearing aid is digital and it is actually telling me when I turn it on, and also when the battery is getting flat. And it does not give a whistling sound when the ear piece pops out. How wonderful isn’t that! And listening to music with the new hearing aid is wonderful, what a fantastic sound! I am digging music in my car everyday :)
I have also learned how bad of a hearing I actually got. 20 decibel is normal hearing, it is then you with a normal hearing can hear and pikk up a sound. On my right ear I have to be subjected to 90-100 decibel to be able to hear sound on that ear. Just imagine what happens if I cover my good year, or are in a noisy surrounding and are not using my hearing aid…
Now a hearing aid is not a magic wand that take away all the problems being hearing impaired, but it sure do help! I still got the same problems when it get too noisy in the surrounding areas, but I can turn the volume up and that make it easier to hear on the right side even then. :) Sometimes I still do not hear when people talk to me, so I do not respond. But the great thing with having a hearing aid is that people can see you do not hear, and then the tuck you on the shoulder or talk more clearly.
Because I have such a bad hearing and risk to sleep over the clock ringing in the morning, I have also gotten a special clock that both ring, blinks with a light and vibrate my pillow. So now I wake up more easily when the clock rings. :) And one more positive thing is that since it got three ways of waking me up, it does not have to ring as loud as my other clocks used to do. I do not disturb the neighbours. :)
But a problem I still got is when I need to use headphones. If one buy a walkman, mp3 player, a mobile phone or such they are always sold with headphones suitable for people hearing on both ears. I got no use for headphones for two ears. I need headphones with stereo sound in only one ear piece. I always wonder when it is that those making such items will see the market for people in need for only one ear piece. When I buy a mobile phone I have to cut the coard to one of the ear peices to be able to use it at all. If I am unlycky that affect the sound. And on top of that when I buy a mobile phone, if I want to use a bluetooth headset instead of the headset coming with the phone I can not use the radio in the mobile. Because of my hearing I mostly buy a separate bluetooth headset because of my need of only using one side. And bluetooth headsets does not work with the radio, or music either for that matter. :(
And about hearing aid…
Me, I do not understand why people are so scared of getting a hearing aid when hearing has gone bad. It is a really wonderful thing and a great tool in the everyday life. :) If you are hearing badly and think that is painful in your life, do not be embarrassed of getting a hearing aid. Turn the situation and stop being cut off from conversations, at work and social events. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Me, I wear it proudly!
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