Skip to main content

The Perks of Being Hard of Hearing

My hearing has deteriorated so slowly that I never even realized it was happening. I knew it was happening, but as far as I'm concerned I hear just as well as I did five years ago. But... I really don't. I mean, I really don't. Here's a picture of my very first audiogram back in 2012 when I'd never heard of Meniere's disease compared to an audiogram from July of 2016:


The truth is, even after the latest audiogram I didn't feel as hard of hearing as I am on paper. My right ear being healthy naturally has a lot to do with why I feel that way, but still. I never noticed how bad my left ear had gotten. Every now and then I would pay attention to it and take advantage of certain aspects of my hearing loss, but I never thought about it any further. You know what I mean?

I'm getting a hearing aid for my left ear sometime this spring, which ought to make things a bit easier for me, since I don't do so well in crowds, classrooms, and other noisy environments. Did you know that even with one good ear hearing in relatively quiet environment can be challenging? If the sound is coming from your bad side, you will automatically lose 25 decibels of that sound as it travels to your good ear. So having one good ear does not necessarily mean that you can hear well and get by without a hearing aid. Some people do, some don't, and of course the amount of hearing loss is the main factor.

Anyway, I have learned to take the best out of my own hearing loss. I know it may sound weird, but I've grown very used to being hard of hearing, and after the initial shock of realizing I'm actually getting a hearing aid (which I thought wouldn't happen until further down the line), I feel comfortable in my current situation. Here are some things that hearing loss makes easier for me:

Sleeping. If there's noise, I just sleep with my good side against the pillow, and that will drown most of the noise. I once had a friend visit who would take a shower every morning while I was still sleeping, and every time she did so, I would make sure I was sleeping with my bad ear out, and good ear against the pillow. I heard nothing, and I was sleeping just on the other side of the bathroom wall! My friend came out and was always surprised to find me fast asleep.

Car travel. I can't hear you well enough to figure out what you're saying, if I'm in the backseat and you're in the front. This gives me leverage - shotgun forever! 

Dealing with little annoyances. Mosquitos, clock ticking, whispering... I've never liked it when I'm being whispered to, and now I can't deal with it at all, even if someone whispering to me is on my good side. I can't distinguish the words at all. So it's easy for me to put a stop to it immediately. I hear mosquitos and the clock tick with my good ear, but I can also tune them out super easy. 

Lastly... I kinda like being hard of hearing. I don't even know why. I'm not the attention seeking kind, I don't enjoy being in the limelight. But I genuinely don't mind being hard of hearing, probably because it has opened my eyes to a lot of new things, and I'm enjoying these new aspects of my life. And the reason I'm blogging about this is that I believe this is an important matter that needs more visibility. Meniere's disease isn't being researched enough because it's not a life threatening disease. Dizziness is still the number one compliance doctors hear from their patients, and not much is being done to treat it. I hope more people would speak up. 

Are you deaf or hard of hearing? What are your perks?




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My First Tattoo

So, I got inked. And I love it!
I don't take tattoos lightly. When I was a teenager, I was sure I would get my first tattoo the second I turned eighteen. Good thing that didn't happen... Tattoos are, as you know, permanent. Before I stumbled upon sign language tattoos I had never found anything that I would permanently want inked on my skin. And when I found this design, I wanted to think it through. Would I regret it? Is it a bad idea? 
I'm not opposed to beautiful tattoos that people get just because. To each their own. However, I decided early on that if I was ever going to get a tattoo, it would have to mean something, and it would have to be a personal decision, and there for myself, not for anyone else. It would have to be in a place where I can show it, but a place I can also cover up if needed. No way was I going to get a tattoo that would insult somebody in any way. 
So, why this tattoo? I'm a very different person from who I was a year ago. With my progressi…

What I Can't Do With Meniere's Disease

Over the years I've come to some realisations about things I'm no longer able to do due to having Meniere's disease. Before you read any further, please remind yourself that this disease is different with everyone, and what's not working for me might be working for someone else. This post is also not me complaining about things I've had to give up. I'm just presenting some facts here :)


Rollercoasters. Ah, I used to love going to amusement parks and riding rollercoasters and other rides. I LOVE amusement parks. Now, unfortunately, my balance goes way off if I get on a ride, so I no longer have to spend crazy amounts of money on those wrist bands...

Walk down the stairs without holding onto the banister. I still have good days when I can just run down the stairs with no problems, but most of the time I need to hold onto something. If it's dark, I definitely have to be careful on the stairs.

Function well without proper sleep. I need my sleep, I really do, or I …