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wayfarer (@wayfarer)

What can be done to help with hyperacusis?

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Oct 3, 2021 | Replies (85)

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@julieo4

That's beautiful Mark. I enjoyed it and heard it quite well. My guitar playing is pretty amateur, and I would not play with anyone else in the house! 🙂 As a child I had 'an ear' for music and could sit down and play most tunes I knew with chords. I had an accordion and a piano. It drove my music instructors crazy because I wasn't reading the music. Obviously, I didn't become a professional musician. Hearing loss devastated my career as a teacher. It changed my social life. It was diagnosed when I was in college and progressed fairly fast. In my 40s I met other people like me. We all agreed to not let hearing loss destroy us. Some of us changed professions. Some became advocates. I did return to teaching for a few years, but found a new niche in human services. (Nothing to do with hearing loss.) I look back and realize how fortunate I was to have learned about a national support group I could learn from. Now that I'm in my 70s and retired, I realize that the choices, challenges and changes I experienced because of my hearing loss were gifts of a unique kind. I learned how to appreciate things I'd never even noticed before. I met people who were pioneers in the cochlear implant studies. It gave me the courage to go for it. I've traveled extensively because I've been involved in HLAA.

Most important, I knew from my experiences that I wanted to remain in the hearing world. I wasn't cut out to be a person of Deaf culture.My family, friends and dreams all were hearing people and thoughts. I did a lot of research on cochlear implants before deciding to have one. A very wise person who was prominent in the field of audiology and education told me to amplify sound to the ear that had zero discrimination. I did that by using headphones with a portable radio. I didn't have a hearing aid in that ear. I listened to a lot of audio tapes and music. I do believe that helped the 'dead' ear make note of sound even though it did not understand speech. The inner ear is where sound is discriminated and identified. The cells within the cochlea are like a piano keyboard. When they die, the unique sound that each cell identifies disappears. The auditory nerve does not get stimulated to send those unique sounds to the brain for interpretation, but that nerve is NOT dead. It's just waiting for stimulation. That's what a CI does.

When I was first diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss I was told there would never be anything in my lifetime that could help me hear. I was 21. I am so thankful that statement was not true. With the CI, my speech recognition scores went from the low 30 percent range to 95%. I still have trouble in noisy settings, and it still takes energy to concentrate for long periods of time. But I hear, communicate, sing, and enjoy life in the hearing world. Again….so thankful.

Sometimes those lemons can turn into gifts. Keep hoping. You have a beautiful voice. Keep an open mind about cochlear implants and all the new options that will evolve over your lifetime.

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Replies to "That's beautiful Mark. I enjoyed it and heard it quite well. My guitar playing is pretty..."

Thanks, glad you liked the song. You have a great outlook on your hearing loss, Julie. I hope that at some point I'll come to view things similarly.

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