Monday, 23 July 2012

I’m not hearing you

Today I had an appointment with my ENT specialist. My ENT specialist was a real nice lady doctor who not only explained to me what my problem was but also to the intern that was there. Learned how I can read my audiogram and about the anatomy of my ear. clip_image001

I’m one of the few people whose audiogram showed a cookie-bite pattern. I hear low and high frequency sounds well, but have a loss in the mid-frequencies.

Hearing impairment is the most common sensory disorder world-wide. It usually effects language acquisition and educational progress in young people. In people of my age, it usually affects also our social & working lives. So far I’m managing quit well if I do say so myself. Only a couple times a day someone will wave their hand to catch my attention or that I need to ask if someone will repeat themselves. I only truly have a problem when people talk softly or when I’m at a meeting and there are lots of distracting noises and many people talk at the same time. Yes, I’m still having a hard time grasping this news, especially as this hearing loss is not reversible, it can only get worse.

Causes of hearing impairment are numerous and in my case it is either hereditary or because of the otis media (middle ear infection) I had last January. The ENT specialist thinks it is mostly likely hereditary. We will know in one or two years. This depends very much on whether my hearing loss deteriorates any further. I find this hard to believe as no one I know of in my family has hearing problems or hearing loss, at least not before the age of 70. I personally think the otis media is the cause of my hearing loss. I also believe that the otis media was most likely a viral infection and not a bacterial infection as thought at that time. I’m pretty sure that I’m making the right assumption as the antibiotics didn’t really work, I needed to have 3 cures before I even noticed some improvement. Still knowing the cause won’t solve this problem.

It wasn’t so great to hear that people with sensorineural hearing loss, like me, can’t regain their hearing. The ENT specialist also told me that I most likely will need a hearing aid sometime in the near future. Between 2 to 5 years. In the mean time you will need to make a little more effort to get heard, if you want me to listen.

From my perspective there are some positive side affects:

  1. people really need to make an effort to express themselves if they want me to ‘hear’ them. If they don’t make the effort, it won’t hurt me as I can choose to ignore your non-verbal communication!
  2. I’m enjoying the quiet.
  3. I can explore a whole new world and learn new skills.
  4. I can become even a better ‘thinker’ (no distractions)

A thinker = a person who tries to use her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate on, or ask and answer questions with regard to a variety of different ideas. Wink

There are numerous other possibilities which I can’t think of at the moment but I’m sure I will think of them soon Nerd . I just needed to ‘voice’ my thoughts.


JoJo said...

The loss of any of our senses is difficult. I pray that today's technology can assist you if you choose to go that route.

suz said...

This was extremely interesting to read. I have a physical scheduled for September and I think I'll ask my doctor about having a hearing test. I've noticed that I don't hear well anymore and especially when there is a lot of other noise. Since both parents had serious hearing problems in their later years I should probably look into this. I hope they can do something for you ... technology is amazing now. My son worked for Massachusetts Eye & Ear, a very famous specialty hospital that works with Harvard Medical School and does a lot of research. In his 5 years there he saw some amazing advances made in hearing treatments.

Linda C said...

l too am having little trouble with hearing. Have not been to have any testing yet. A great positive l can quickly think of is l would not hear my husbands snoring so loud!!! Must always find a positive in everything!!

Serena Outland said...

Now that’s optimism. Despite the hearing problem, you still manage to focus on the more positive things in life. I agree with what you said in number four. There is a sense of promise in the fact that you can constantly learn new skills to better improve your ability to understand people and express yourself. It’s going to be a continuous learning experience for you, all throughout your life. And there is a sense of challenge, a sense of fulfillment in that!