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Biting the bullet

I guess that I'm no different to anyone else who slowly becomes hard of hearing in middle age. I'm 51 and have had an increasing hearing loss for some years, a hearing loss that I've always denied.

It became more and more difficult to understand what people were saying especially higher pitched voices. I had noticeable difficulty where there was background noise, bars and restaurants and in traffic noise. This had a severe impact on my social life. At home the TV and radio volumes were slowly turned up higher over the years.

Finally, in the spring of this year whilst looking for advice on hearing loss on the internet I came across the RNID site and their online hearing check. Being curious I took the check with the volume on my PC set to the loudest setting. The result showed that my hearing was “ below normal” and the advice given was to seek medical advice and get referred to an audiologist for further hearing assessments.

Having been in denial for so long I decided finally to bite the bullet and following a visit to an audiologist and having hearing tests my loss was diagnosed and I was told that I needed a hearing aid.

I was diagnosed with a slight hearing loss in my left ear and a mild to moderate high frequency loss in my right ear ( my loss starts at 20Db in the low frequencies to around 60Db in the high frequencies).

About 10 weeks ago I was fitted with a behind the ear type hearing aid in my right ear and my initial reaction was wow! I knew I didn't hear well, but I never realised how much I was actually missing!

I'm slowly adjusting to wearing my hearing aid but I appreciate that it won't give me perfect hearing. I still have trouble hearing in background noise. At the time I was fitted with my hearing aid I was advised to learn to lip-read and this has had a positive effect as I've met other hard of hearing people who like me are getting used to the idea of wearing hearing aids. I also now make a point of telling people that I'm hard of hearing if I don't understand them and ask them to speak slowly and clearly and face me when they speak.

Ian

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