How does hearing loss change you?

Posted by joangela @joangela, May 11, 2019

For me, hearing loss has always been a part of my life. Those darn hearing tests in elementary school always put me in the category of hearing loss. Now, that I am much older, in my late 50s my hearing loss is profound. It is so bad, even my hearing family, has a real hard time adjusting to it.
How it has really changed me?
I was a small business owner, and a top notch sales person. I was a huge people person and an excellent communicator. It’s all gone.
A major change in my life.
How about you?

I forgot to add… I have taught a State required licensing class for 13+ years and wonder how much longer I can effectively do this. The class requires interaction and many students are either shy or simply don't speak loudly enough and I can't understand them. Classes are small so I can always walk over to the student and ask them to repeat but I'm assuming my hearing will get worse, not better, so not sure how much longer I'll be able to do this. Just turned 65 and aren't relying on this income, it's just extra spending money for my other hobbies such as SCUBA diving. One thing I like about SCUBA diving is that NOBODY can hear so we're all in the same boat! 🙂

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@bradmm

I've posted this before but, despite years of reminding my wife that I can't understand her when she speaks from another room or doesn't mute the TV first, she continues to do those things. It's a daily/nightly thing for me to, once again, remind her… or simply give up and not try to understand. She understands the situation but, for some reason, doesn't remember from day to day. We both accept the reality of the situation but it's odd to me that it continues. I guess because it's not a big deal when it happens – we don't get frustrated – it doesn't "stick,"

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@bradmm I have the exact same situation with my husband. I think he has more trouble accommodating my hearing loss than anyone else who knows me does. He often talks from the kitchen when I am in the family room, and his back will be to me so there is no way I am going to understand what he says. It's really frustrating when I ask him to repeat more than once and he just drops out. He has finally gotten used to muting the TV sound when he says something to me.
JK

Liked by joangela

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To @contentandwell and @bradmm
I’m the partner with hearing loss but sometimes I find myself talking from the other room to him so we’re both guilty!! LOL it does get frustrating. We have a cable box w DVR so we record shows and we each have a remote so we just pause it to talk or rewind to catch a caption or something we missed.

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@judysmayo

To @contentandwell and @bradmm
I’m the partner with hearing loss but sometimes I find myself talking from the other room to him so we’re both guilty!! LOL it does get frustrating. We have a cable box w DVR so we record shows and we each have a remote so we just pause it to talk or rewind to catch a caption or something we missed.

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@judysmayo We too record many shows these days, even ones that we want to watch the same night. We start watching about 15 or 20 minutes into recording so we can fly by the lengthy advertisements. We do occasionally rewind to catch something we have missed.
JK

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I am not sure if this is the right thread to be writing on but here is a problem I have noticed the last 6 months. Yesterday I was taking a walk on a scenic path. I have BTE Phonaks about 2 years old. Wind whistling is an issue. Walking on gravel I could hear every step. I could hear the dogs neck chain clanking back and forth. I could hear the birds in the trees loud and clear. But my families voices are very hard to hear and distinguish. Hearing aids help if you are one on one with a person but every place else is very tough. I realize that hearing aids are really just help but not a total solution. All the high tech programming they can do I believe is overrated…..they are simply amplifiers. I also realize that everyones hearing loss is unique to their own selves. I am sure that my greatest hearing loss is in the frequency where voices are and that birds chirping/etc my hearing loss is not that extensive…..anyway just wanted to throw that out there. Have a nice day!

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@scottk

I am not sure if this is the right thread to be writing on but here is a problem I have noticed the last 6 months. Yesterday I was taking a walk on a scenic path. I have BTE Phonaks about 2 years old. Wind whistling is an issue. Walking on gravel I could hear every step. I could hear the dogs neck chain clanking back and forth. I could hear the birds in the trees loud and clear. But my families voices are very hard to hear and distinguish. Hearing aids help if you are one on one with a person but every place else is very tough. I realize that hearing aids are really just help but not a total solution. All the high tech programming they can do I believe is overrated…..they are simply amplifiers. I also realize that everyones hearing loss is unique to their own selves. I am sure that my greatest hearing loss is in the frequency where voices are and that birds chirping/etc my hearing loss is not that extensive…..anyway just wanted to throw that out there. Have a nice day!

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@scottk Hearing voices, particularly in a group setting or restaurant is the biggest problem that most hearing aid users have. I'm glad you were able to hear the sounds of nature though. One thing I really miss is hearing the lap of the water on the rocky shore at a lakeside cabin we have. That was a beautiful thing to wake up to in the morning. I can hear it with my aids in of course, but when in bed I don't have them in.
JK

Liked by joangela

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@scottk

I am not sure if this is the right thread to be writing on but here is a problem I have noticed the last 6 months. Yesterday I was taking a walk on a scenic path. I have BTE Phonaks about 2 years old. Wind whistling is an issue. Walking on gravel I could hear every step. I could hear the dogs neck chain clanking back and forth. I could hear the birds in the trees loud and clear. But my families voices are very hard to hear and distinguish. Hearing aids help if you are one on one with a person but every place else is very tough. I realize that hearing aids are really just help but not a total solution. All the high tech programming they can do I believe is overrated…..they are simply amplifiers. I also realize that everyones hearing loss is unique to their own selves. I am sure that my greatest hearing loss is in the frequency where voices are and that birds chirping/etc my hearing loss is not that extensive…..anyway just wanted to throw that out there. Have a nice day!

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Yes, people in the hearing world just have no clue. Have tried to fake it. It just doesn’t work. I understand what you are saying. The most important thing, our loved ones, are the most difficult for us to understand. Just pray for patience.

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@contentandwell

@bradmm I have the exact same situation with my husband. I think he has more trouble accommodating my hearing loss than anyone else who knows me does. He often talks from the kitchen when I am in the family room, and his back will be to me so there is no way I am going to understand what he says. It's really frustrating when I ask him to repeat more than once and he just drops out. He has finally gotten used to muting the TV sound when he says something to me.
JK

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I think it is hard for our hearing spouses to remember how much we need them to be right there when they communicate with us. After all, this is a hearing world where hearing can easily be taken for granted.

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And take ONE day at a time. There are many who are in the same ball park as you.

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@scottk

I am not sure if this is the right thread to be writing on but here is a problem I have noticed the last 6 months. Yesterday I was taking a walk on a scenic path. I have BTE Phonaks about 2 years old. Wind whistling is an issue. Walking on gravel I could hear every step. I could hear the dogs neck chain clanking back and forth. I could hear the birds in the trees loud and clear. But my families voices are very hard to hear and distinguish. Hearing aids help if you are one on one with a person but every place else is very tough. I realize that hearing aids are really just help but not a total solution. All the high tech programming they can do I believe is overrated…..they are simply amplifiers. I also realize that everyones hearing loss is unique to their own selves. I am sure that my greatest hearing loss is in the frequency where voices are and that birds chirping/etc my hearing loss is not that extensive…..anyway just wanted to throw that out there. Have a nice day!

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It’s true that hearing aids are amplifiers but there are programs for different environments as well as adjustments that can be made within the programs. My Resound aids have noise filter and speech clarification, which I find extremely helpful. I just tell people I am adjusting my hearing aids when I have my smartphone out during conversations. My friends are used to it.

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@scottkay I want to add that hearing aids are smart amplifiers in that when you go to a Dr of Audiology they fit the amplification of the hearing aid to take into consideration your audiogram. The adjustment is specific for your hearing loss. I’m skeptical about the new regulations re the sale of OTC – Over the Counter hearing aids which I consider just amplifiers. I don’t know where the industry is going but there is the possibility that the OTC can be adjusted remotely by an audiologist. I don’t believe the general population knows about these options and I’m thinking many people may end up just buying ‘amplifiers’ that don’t help them. Everyone with hearing loss will agree the most difficult hearing issues occur when there’s background noise or multiple people are talking.

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It will be interesting to see what happens with the OTC hearing aids. It's important to know that they are not legally being sold now, however, many innovative businesses seem to be selling products they call 'hearing aids' that are really categorized as Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). How they get away with this is a mystery to me. This is incredibly confusing to all of us with hearing loss. I do believe that once the OTC aids are regulated in 2020 or 2021, many with mild/moderate hearing loss will benefit. Looking back on my personal experience. I was diagnosed with progressive sensorineural hearing loss in the 60s. I was told that hearing aids would not help me. Therefore, I did not seek help until I was desperate over a decade later. When I was basically dragged to a university testing center by a friend, I resisted even after tests showed that hearing aids would improve my hearing somewhat. Eventually I was fitted with an analog bi-cross hearing aid. Bi-cross because I fought getting two of them. That bi-cross aid did help me, quite a bit. It was primarily an amplifier. Once I got used to it, I did find it helpful and learned quickly that I did better with it than without it. Move forward several decades….My hearing loss progressed to the severe, then profound stages. Technology advanced to digital and BlueTooth. Ultimately, I became a cochlear implant candidate. I am now bimodal, using both a HA and a CI. So, what's the point? The point is: That basic analog hearing aid of the early 70s helped my moderate hearing loss, and I suspect that same basic analog technology that is likely to be used with the OTC hearing aids will help others just as it helped me. Would it help me now? No. It would be a waste of money. Just pointing out that OTC amplification that hopefully includes manual telecoils and volume controls may be the entry point level for many people who do not need the more expensive hearing instruments. Maybe it will encourage many who now resist to get hearing help. Yes, It will be interesting to see what happens. I truly hope it will encourage those who start at the OTC level to get the better aids they will need when/if their hearing loss progresses. I suspect it will.

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I hope that the customers will be wise in their selections when they are out there looking at all of the possibilities since it is VERY confusing. The FDA will be releasing their findings and determination this fall (2019) regarding the Over The Counter Hearing Aid Act (OTC Act) which will give instructions on how the vendors/businesses are to market their products to the public. It can't be too soon and I am sure it will be very specific to what is is defined as a "hearing aid" and what is not a hearing aid since they were defined years ago. So hold on to your seats as we await their final input on a long-awaited dilemma. Eloise

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I’m right there with you. My loss started a while ago.but over the last 7 1/2 months my hearing loss has gotten worse. I’m getting very upset not being able to hear someone right next to me. I try and guess what all was said by what I did hear. A lot of the time I just with draw from being around people.🤔

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@casper15

I’m right there with you. My loss started a while ago.but over the last 7 1/2 months my hearing loss has gotten worse. I’m getting very upset not being able to hear someone right next to me. I try and guess what all was said by what I did hear. A lot of the time I just with draw from being around people.🤔

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Interesting that you mentioned the 71/2 months it has gotten worse. I feel very similar. It was like I woke up one morning and it didn't matter if I had my fingers in my ears….I could not hear! At first I thought it was my hearing aids but after numerous trips/adjustments back and forth from the audi and ENT's I realize that my hearing is going rapidly. Add the tinnitus in and really is tough! I know mine is a genetic issue….I have 5 siblings and they have varying degrees of hearing loss. My aunts and uncles from my mom's side were all near deaf before they passed on. The one thing I do not want to withdraw from conversation like you mention….too many good things going on that I want to hear! I have 11 grandkids and I just make the point that they need to talk slower and directly to Grandpa! They are funny…..my one granddaughter who is 6 thinks that if she whispers in my ear that will help! Hearing loss is tough but just look around you and you will see people with bigger problems. Hang in there and be a good advocate for the cause! Take care.

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