June 22, 2010

Describing My Hearing Loss

While at the HLAA conference in Milwaukee, I was struck by how varied the hearing losses were among the hundreds who attended the conference. They utilized different amplification devices, lost their hearing or acquired deafness at different times in different ways (some from birth, some were hereditary, some from illness, some lost their hearing during their adult years, etc.). Everyone communicated in different ways and/or spoke in different ways.

It was so interesting to see the different ways there are to be deaf and hard of hearing.

I am profoundly deaf in my left ear and I have a moderate-severe hearing loss in my left ear--but only in the higher tones or frequencies. The loss is not so significant in the lower frequencies (normal-mild). Depending on the situation, as in a crowded restaurant, or a quiet carpeted room, my hearing loss varies. Without my hearing aid, I have a harder time with speech and high tones or frequencies. I always have a difficult time describing to someone what exactly my hearing loss is when I am asked. Even my previous audiologist said that it depends and that she cannot describe my hearing loss using one term. My hearing loss can be severe-profound or moderate depending on the situation, she said. It is complicated.

Would I say that I have a moderate loss, overall?

I prefer to go into detail about my hearing loss if someone asks.  And if they don't want to hear all the details, I will just say I have a hard time hearing, end of story.


1 comment:

  1. It is the same with chronic illness. In the end I can only describe what I experience and what it does to my life. (if only everyone did this!)


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