About a month ago I was diagnosed with mild to moderate SNHL which means, in a nutshell, I am a little bit deaf. In both ears.
It is something which normally happens as we get older, it’s just mine was accelerated a bit. Cos clearly at 39 I’m still young! Well according to the Audiologist – who I clearly liked!
But what is, is. It’s not like I didn’t know it, not really. I’ve known I find it difficult to hear people speak when I don’t wear my glasses for years. Like it must be at least 15 years ago I first noticed it. My contact lenses had fallen out at work and I had to get within a metre of young people to understand what they were saying. (FYI that’s a lip reading thing NOT a woah the vibrations through my glasses help me hear kinda witchcraft).
So anyway after Jason telling me I was deaf for years, the hearing test finally confirmed it. Bilateral SNHL.
Basically I can’t hear you if you whisper. And sometimes if there’s too much background noise. I also can’t hear you if you cover your mouth then you speak. Also, apparently I have problems with the letters S and F and th sound meaning I may mishear you and make stuff up in my head. So sorry about that, please bare with me.
Today I’m trialling a hearing aid. I’m hearing sounds that I only just realise now that I haven’t heard for years. The opening of a cigarette packet, the whirling of overhead fans, the mutterings of Jason…
Only around 1 in 6 people who need one will get a hearing aid. I get it, glasses are acceptable; hearing aids aren’t. Many people do not want the world to know that they are disabled. Or old. Theres stigma. There’s not wanting to be treated differently. Or its vanity. Whatever.
Since telling my friends I’m a bit deaf, three people I know have told me their story. We are all around 40. We all have hearing loss akin to people at least 20 years older. So theres more of you. I know there is. We were born around the time the Walkman was invented. We laughed in the face of the warnings that told us to turn down our music. We danced by the bass speakers in drum n bass clubs. We never thought we’d get “old”.
There are so many people hiding their hearing loss so please, you people with perfect hearing… if you are given the option… ALWAYS use the mic.