Hearing Loss Experiences - Can you find humor in some of it?

Posted by Julie, Volunteer Mentor @julieo4, Jul 20, 2021

People with hearing loss can easily mishear and respond to something out of context. Obviously, this can be a big problem. Most often it's not. How about sharing some of the experiences we have had. I believe that being able to laugh and find humor in some of our experiences can be healthy. What do you think?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss Support Group.

@tonyinmi

@joyces Yes, I'm surprised you did not get a reminder about your appointment with the vet. Seems every business does that. So, you are not alone in missing an appointment, but for a different reason. Shame on them for charging you extra. You may want to make it a habit to repeat back important details before leaving a place to help avoid a reoccurance.
I used to really struggle on the phone and would purposely not answer so that any message would go to voicemail. I could have my wife help with trying to understand the message, if I couldn't figure it out myself. I had since gotten an iPhone and could use the transcription to help understand any message. However, the best feature that the hearing aids/iPhone did for me was the direct streaming via Bluetooth. I haven't waiting until people leave voicemails in a long time. I do listen to more spam calls now that I pick up the phone, LOL.
Tony in Michigan

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Tony, the vet here in this small town has been almost the only game in town for decades, but the much smaller vet office has just built a big new building, so perhaps the competition will make them be more client-friendly. FWIW, not even all the docs here call to remind you of an appt. Small towns are different places! I've set up our Charter/Spectrum cable phone service to convert any messages to an e-mail, although that doesn't always work. If we had cell reception here, the streaming would be great. I even bought a much better router to get WiFi, but it's not compatible with the modem Spectrum provides: I installed it carefully, and lost the cable connection for phone and 'net! It's back in the box, with the Spectrum router in place. The lack of cell service really hurts when there's an evacuation: we didn't now that we'd been Phase 1 or 2, let alone 3, which is "leave immediately" last fall. I've arrange with my closest neighbor a quarter-mile away to let me know in the future. They live on a hilltop so have cell reception. Seems that you can't have deer or elk just outside your office window and still have cell reception: I've opted for the critters!

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@tonyinmi

@jshdma I miss hearing the music that I remember. Losing hearing later in life may be worse than never having hearing. I was born with mild hearing loss but I am in the severe to profound range now. In case you do not know, there is a group of musicians with hearing loss. Here's the link: https://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org/wp/
I'm not a musician, but I've attended several of their virtual concerts.
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you, Tony in Michigan. I will check out the group you mention. Hard to imagine wht a "virtual" concert is.

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@jshdma

Thank you, Julie. I have not yet reached the point of using any aids. But I know I probably should be and it feels very depressing. As a musician, it marks me as failing in some way. Also, it is interesting that opthamology seems far more advance than audiology– e.g., with contact lenses your poor sight is completely hidden. Also, glasses seem to be a kind of fashion item, unlike hearing aids, which seem to be associated with aging. Altogether it is just depressing.

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It's a real shame that so much stigma is attached to hearing loss. It's also a shame that hearing instrument advertisements tend to market denial by telling us we should look for invisible products. My hearing loss was diagnosed when I was in my 20s. I thought I was the only person in the world, who was my age, who had this issue. My entire outlook changed when I was introduced to the organization that is now known as the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), as it introduced me to thousands of other people like myself. Many were my age. I encourage you to check out HLAA at: http://www.hearingloss.org Explore the website, and check out their magazine. One of the recent issues was on music.

You may also be interested in learning about another organization at http://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org

Hearing technology has come a very long ways in the digital era. While hearing aids only amplified sound years ago when I first wore them, they do so much more today. They can also be 'fashion statements' believe it or not as they come in colors and patterns. Obviously, not everyone's choice, but they are available. I chose turquoise!

Yes, I went though depression, frustration, embarrassment and everything you say you are experiencing. It still happens sometimes. I thank my involvement in HLAA for turning my life around. It helped more than I can possibly explain, to meet other people like me who could validate my feelings about what was happening to me. It also helped me learn how to explain to family, friends and co-workers what it was that I needed to remain comfortably in the hearing world.

I am sure you know that noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and that protecting whatever level of hearing you have from getting worse is extremely important. Music, depending on variety, is often experienced at decibel levels above the danger point.

Do you know any other people personally who experience hearing loss?

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@julieo4

It's a real shame that so much stigma is attached to hearing loss. It's also a shame that hearing instrument advertisements tend to market denial by telling us we should look for invisible products. My hearing loss was diagnosed when I was in my 20s. I thought I was the only person in the world, who was my age, who had this issue. My entire outlook changed when I was introduced to the organization that is now known as the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), as it introduced me to thousands of other people like myself. Many were my age. I encourage you to check out HLAA at: http://www.hearingloss.org Explore the website, and check out their magazine. One of the recent issues was on music.

You may also be interested in learning about another organization at http://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org

Hearing technology has come a very long ways in the digital era. While hearing aids only amplified sound years ago when I first wore them, they do so much more today. They can also be 'fashion statements' believe it or not as they come in colors and patterns. Obviously, not everyone's choice, but they are available. I chose turquoise!

Yes, I went though depression, frustration, embarrassment and everything you say you are experiencing. It still happens sometimes. I thank my involvement in HLAA for turning my life around. It helped more than I can possibly explain, to meet other people like me who could validate my feelings about what was happening to me. It also helped me learn how to explain to family, friends and co-workers what it was that I needed to remain comfortably in the hearing world.

I am sure you know that noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and that protecting whatever level of hearing you have from getting worse is extremely important. Music, depending on variety, is often experienced at decibel levels above the danger point.

Do you know any other people personally who experience hearing loss?

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To Julie– thank you so much for your friendly, understanding comments. In fact, I do not know (or at least am not aware of) anyone else with hearing loss. As said, I am a musician, and there are numerous people in the audience at my performances who are probably much older than I am, and I have never seen any of them with a hearing aid. And speaking to them, they appear to hear everything. I'm sure I could have a much better attitude, but as someone who has taken much care of my health in general, and never went to rock concerts or similar noisy events, this comes a a great shock.

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@jshdma

To Julie– thank you so much for your friendly, understanding comments. In fact, I do not know (or at least am not aware of) anyone else with hearing loss. As said, I am a musician, and there are numerous people in the audience at my performances who are probably much older than I am, and I have never seen any of them with a hearing aid. And speaking to them, they appear to hear everything. I'm sure I could have a much better attitude, but as someone who has taken much care of my health in general, and never went to rock concerts or similar noisy events, this comes a a great shock.

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It might help to know that nearly 20% of the population in the United States has some degree of hearing loss. That includes people of all ages. You are not alone.

I don't know where you live, but if there is a chapter of HLAA in your area, seek them out. Many chapters have started meeting on Zoom due to the pandemic. The good news is that many of those meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend them.

There is a big difference between being Deaf or being hard of hearing. Deaf people (capital D Deaf), generally use manual communication and consider themselves part of a unique culture. They are a small minority as in fewer than 5% of the 'hearing impaired' population, but they get a lot of attention. That can be misleading because people think we are all like that.

Hard of hearing people, in general, want to remain in the hearing world. It's up to them to learn how to do that.

Have you had your hearing tested by a clinical audiologist? If so, what have they recommended for you?

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@julieo4

It might help to know that nearly 20% of the population in the United States has some degree of hearing loss. That includes people of all ages. You are not alone.

I don't know where you live, but if there is a chapter of HLAA in your area, seek them out. Many chapters have started meeting on Zoom due to the pandemic. The good news is that many of those meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend them.

There is a big difference between being Deaf or being hard of hearing. Deaf people (capital D Deaf), generally use manual communication and consider themselves part of a unique culture. They are a small minority as in fewer than 5% of the 'hearing impaired' population, but they get a lot of attention. That can be misleading because people think we are all like that.

Hard of hearing people, in general, want to remain in the hearing world. It's up to them to learn how to do that.

Have you had your hearing tested by a clinical audiologist? If so, what have they recommended for you?

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Thank you, Julie. Yes, I have been tested and have a graph showing the downward path. It's depressing, for several reasons. One is that as a professional musician, I can never bring my instrument to the volume where it is often needed to be. I almost don't need to have testing– I know what is happening. It seems to me that opthamology is far more advanced than audiology. I have worn glasses my whole life, but then, millions of people wear glasses. Plus, , there are contact lenses. Cataracts are removed. Correcting bad hearing seems to be much less successful. I read about all the problems with hearing aids, and they are far from invisible. But I appreciate your advice.

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@jshdma

Thank you, Julie. I have not yet reached the point of using any aids. But I know I probably should be and it feels very depressing. As a musician, it marks me as failing in some way. Also, it is interesting that opthamology seems far more advance than audiology– e.g., with contact lenses your poor sight is completely hidden. Also, glasses seem to be a kind of fashion item, unlike hearing aids, which seem to be associated with aging. Altogether it is just depressing.

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Please do not be depressed! Think happy – as without aides we would truly be depressed.

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@coppermoon

Please do not be depressed! Think happy – as without aides we would truly be depressed.

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Yes, coppermoon. You are right. But it's hard to implement, or, to be what you are not.

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@jshdma

Yes, coppermoon. You are right. But it's hard to implement, or, to be what you are not.

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But you are still the same person, just with some handicaps – some are visible in us and some are not!

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Better if all aids WERE visible…if everyone could easily see that you're wearing an aid, they might be quicker to speak clearly.
I was an active amateur musician when Meniere's became a real problem with hearing and balance nearly 40 years ago. Because it wasn't my profession, I quit playing and listening, took up various art and textile arts projects to fulfill my need to be creative. It took me over 30 years to get to a place where I'm somewhat comfortable listening to music, as long as it's music I know (so that I can fill in from memory what's missing).
Yes, you're correct that visual aids are many, while hearing assistance lags far behind. I was close to legally blind until I was in my 60s; after cataract surgery, I had 20/20 vision, which did drop to 20/60–but that's better than what I had WITH glasses prior to the surgery! It's been over 10 years, but every day I'm thankful for being able to look out and actually see things! Due to Meniere's, my hearing problem isn't as much that I can't hear as that I have too much distortion to understand what I do hear. If I'm watching the person carefully and expecting to hear what they say, things work, but when they turn their head or look down, I'm totally lost. I need the visual clues to piece together with the garbled speech I hear.

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