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?

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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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I thought you might find this article of interest. Richard Einhorn is a composer who is affected by sudden sensorineural hearing loss that has changed his life. He became involved in HLAA, and served as president of the board of trustees a few years ago. This information was just shared, by Richard, on Facebook.

Richard Einhorn shared a link.
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I'm pleased to announce that my new article on hearing loss and music was published in Sound on Sound magazine. It can be digitally accessed for free below.
This article is intended for musicians, audio engineers, and music lovers who are interested in hearing and how hearing loss affects the perception of sound. It should still be pretty accessible for lay people.
Thanks to the many prominent audiologists and experts in hearing loss I interviewed for this article. Sound on Sound is one of the finest magazines serving the vast music technology community. It was a pleasure to work with them on this piece — and there will be others.
soundonsound.com
Free Replica Digital Magazine

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@lizzy102

Talk with your audiologist about Cochlear Implant (CI). When your hearing loss reached the eligibility level, I encourage you to choose Cochlear Implant. I hadn’t enjoyed music for years, post-CI and lots of rehab training, I love listening to music again! There are some good posts out there by musicians and others in the entertainment field. CI has completely changed my life!

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How much of a learning curve after the implant?

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The learning curve is entirely up to you. How much you are prepared to do to improve how your brain and the CI work together. Some folks I’ve talked to didn’t push their learning past the first weeks or didn’t seek other voices, use the TV, listen to audiobooks etc. and so they are unhappy with their CI. Others worked like I did – pushing themselves and those around them to work that brain and train it to hear with the CI.
I worked every day, twice a day for 45 min each time for the first 8 months. I still work with a music app for Cochlear to refine my instrument identification skills and with Angel Sounds for speech in noise etc.
At first everyone sounded like Elmer Fudd. I was so astonished to be able to understand them that it didn’t bother me – did make me laugh sometimes in those early days. I worked with lots of different people of varying registers of voice, speaking styles, accents… so that my CI hearing was always challenged. My grandson did FaceTime with me and his kid voice saying words off a list was really a challenge.
You see, I couldn’t understand speech at all. I was a stellar face and speech reader so I “got by.” My CI gave me speech understanding – I can go to movies, listen to music, understand my grandkids, understand guys with deep voices and mumbly diction… I was willing to work my non-existent fanny off for any improvement while at the same time being happy to understand at all.

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@lizzy102

The learning curve is entirely up to you. How much you are prepared to do to improve how your brain and the CI work together. Some folks I’ve talked to didn’t push their learning past the first weeks or didn’t seek other voices, use the TV, listen to audiobooks etc. and so they are unhappy with their CI. Others worked like I did – pushing themselves and those around them to work that brain and train it to hear with the CI.
I worked every day, twice a day for 45 min each time for the first 8 months. I still work with a music app for Cochlear to refine my instrument identification skills and with Angel Sounds for speech in noise etc.
At first everyone sounded like Elmer Fudd. I was so astonished to be able to understand them that it didn’t bother me – did make me laugh sometimes in those early days. I worked with lots of different people of varying registers of voice, speaking styles, accents… so that my CI hearing was always challenged. My grandson did FaceTime with me and his kid voice saying words off a list was really a challenge.
You see, I couldn’t understand speech at all. I was a stellar face and speech reader so I “got by.” My CI gave me speech understanding – I can go to movies, listen to music, understand my grandkids, understand guys with deep voices and mumbly diction… I was willing to work my non-existent fanny off for any improvement while at the same time being happy to understand at all.

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Thank you for sharing your experience. I live out of country where everyone has different accents which I never experienced when I had both ears. Accents are impossible for me to get around using by aids.

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@lizzy102

The learning curve is entirely up to you. How much you are prepared to do to improve how your brain and the CI work together. Some folks I’ve talked to didn’t push their learning past the first weeks or didn’t seek other voices, use the TV, listen to audiobooks etc. and so they are unhappy with their CI. Others worked like I did – pushing themselves and those around them to work that brain and train it to hear with the CI.
I worked every day, twice a day for 45 min each time for the first 8 months. I still work with a music app for Cochlear to refine my instrument identification skills and with Angel Sounds for speech in noise etc.
At first everyone sounded like Elmer Fudd. I was so astonished to be able to understand them that it didn’t bother me – did make me laugh sometimes in those early days. I worked with lots of different people of varying registers of voice, speaking styles, accents… so that my CI hearing was always challenged. My grandson did FaceTime with me and his kid voice saying words off a list was really a challenge.
You see, I couldn’t understand speech at all. I was a stellar face and speech reader so I “got by.” My CI gave me speech understanding – I can go to movies, listen to music, understand my grandkids, understand guys with deep voices and mumbly diction… I was willing to work my non-existent fanny off for any improvement while at the same time being happy to understand at all.

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Thanks, Lizzy, your words motivate and inspire me as I wait to have my Osia processors fitted a week from tomorrow. After 15 years of just doing the best I can with hearing aids, I look forward to working at learning what I can achieve by this new way of hearing.

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@lizzy102

The learning curve is entirely up to you. How much you are prepared to do to improve how your brain and the CI work together. Some folks I’ve talked to didn’t push their learning past the first weeks or didn’t seek other voices, use the TV, listen to audiobooks etc. and so they are unhappy with their CI. Others worked like I did – pushing themselves and those around them to work that brain and train it to hear with the CI.
I worked every day, twice a day for 45 min each time for the first 8 months. I still work with a music app for Cochlear to refine my instrument identification skills and with Angel Sounds for speech in noise etc.
At first everyone sounded like Elmer Fudd. I was so astonished to be able to understand them that it didn’t bother me – did make me laugh sometimes in those early days. I worked with lots of different people of varying registers of voice, speaking styles, accents… so that my CI hearing was always challenged. My grandson did FaceTime with me and his kid voice saying words off a list was really a challenge.
You see, I couldn’t understand speech at all. I was a stellar face and speech reader so I “got by.” My CI gave me speech understanding – I can go to movies, listen to music, understand my grandkids, understand guys with deep voices and mumbly diction… I was willing to work my non-existent fanny off for any improvement while at the same time being happy to understand at all.

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Are you willing to share how old your were when you got your CI? I have a couple of friends who have them and one did really well, because he worked at it, as you did. The other one did not do as well and invested little effort into it. Am wondering if age has any bearing.

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@lizzy102

The learning curve is entirely up to you. How much you are prepared to do to improve how your brain and the CI work together. Some folks I’ve talked to didn’t push their learning past the first weeks or didn’t seek other voices, use the TV, listen to audiobooks etc. and so they are unhappy with their CI. Others worked like I did – pushing themselves and those around them to work that brain and train it to hear with the CI.
I worked every day, twice a day for 45 min each time for the first 8 months. I still work with a music app for Cochlear to refine my instrument identification skills and with Angel Sounds for speech in noise etc.
At first everyone sounded like Elmer Fudd. I was so astonished to be able to understand them that it didn’t bother me – did make me laugh sometimes in those early days. I worked with lots of different people of varying registers of voice, speaking styles, accents… so that my CI hearing was always challenged. My grandson did FaceTime with me and his kid voice saying words off a list was really a challenge.
You see, I couldn’t understand speech at all. I was a stellar face and speech reader so I “got by.” My CI gave me speech understanding – I can go to movies, listen to music, understand my grandkids, understand guys with deep voices and mumbly diction… I was willing to work my non-existent fanny off for any improvement while at the same time being happy to understand at all.

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Is CI the only effective/useful option for musicians? Since I don't qualify for CI due to hearing loss in my other ear, to whom or where can go to find an alternative solution? Tnx

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@newhorizons

Is CI the only effective/useful option for musicians? Since I don't qualify for CI due to hearing loss in my other ear, to whom or where can go to find an alternative solution? Tnx

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I may have missed a piece of this conversation, so I ask a couple of questions. 1. Are you using hearing aids, if so what kind? 2. What type of hearing loss do you have?

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@sueprichard

Are you willing to share how old your were when you got your CI? I have a couple of friends who have them and one did really well, because he worked at it, as you did. The other one did not do as well and invested little effort into it. Am wondering if age has any bearing.

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A persons willingness to work at it after receiving a CI is very important. The brain needs to 'exercise' in order to adjust to a whole new way of interpreting sounds and speech. In time, it all sounds perfectly normal. In most instances, pre-counseling is done by the CI medical staff prior to surgery to determine if a person is a suitable candidate for a CI.

Realistic expectations are important. Some definitely do better than others, but most do well if they are willing to work at it. I was 65 when I received my CI. I have friends in their 80s who have them recently who have done extremely well. Age is probably not a factor, but being mentally & physically health is.

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Thank you…and I agree. Age shouldn't be a factor, but willingness to learn is obviously key.

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Wonderful suggestion. Someone said if you learn to laugh at yourself you’ll never lack for entertainment.

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It helps a ton to have other hard of hearing people to share and compare experiences with. Lots of validation and many laughs, sometimes a few tears. A reason why I enjoy our HLAA chapter so much.

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