Living With Hearing Loss

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Our guest blogger Daniel Pistritto explains what it’s like to live with a hearing loss:

Many times when I meet a new person, I can see their eyes moving to steal quick glances at my hearing aids. Sometimes I can almost see the moment that they have said to themselves ‘Okay this guy is wearing hearing aids. He must be deaf. I should probably talk louder and slower so he can understand me’.

Whilst talking softer or faster will certainly make it harder for anyone to understand you, regardless of their level of hearing; raising your voice or talking slower than usual doesn’t actually help many of us hearing impaired folk.

So what’s it like to be hearing impaired? That’s a bit hard to explain without a bit of comparison.

Imagine I give you a pair of sunglasses to wear which block out most of the light. You would probably find it difficult or near impossible to read the newspaper unless you had some way of illuminating the pages. This is a bit like a conductive hearing loss, where the energy from sound waves becomes lost or diminished as it passes through our outer and middle ears. Hearing aids will give extra volume to the type of sounds we have trouble hearing naturally.

Bu. .ere. another .y. of .earin. lo.. .i. i. a bi. more ..allen..in. to .a..le.

The above line is not a mistake in my spelling or grammar. What I have done is remove certain letters and letter combinations from the beginning and end of some of the words.

Now lets make the above sentence easier to see:

Bu. .ere. another .y. of .earin. lo.. .i. i. a bi. more ..allen..in. to .a..le

Still doesn’t make any more sense does it?

Let’s make it bigger:

Bu. .ere. another .y. of .earin. lo.. .i. i. a bi. more ..allen..in. to .a..le

How about we capitalise it?

BU. .ERE. ANOTHER .Y. OF .EARIN. LO.. .I. I. A BI. MORE ..ALLEN..IN. TO .A..LE

You will have little chance of understanding the above sentence unless I insert those missing letters.

If I  insert a few ,you should be able to understand some of the words and maybe guess the context of the sentence.

But .ere. another .y. of hearing lo.. whi.. is a bi. more challen..in. to .ackle.

How did you go?

For people with sensorineural (or nerve) hearing loss; making the sound louder might mean the difference between hearing a person speaking or not but if the words are not being relayed to the brain in their entirety then we get gaps in the signal, like the gaps in the above sentence. We know that someone is saying something but not what they are actually saying, regardless of how loud they are speaking.

If you’re having trouble communicating and suspect you may have a hearing loss, take the industry-leading hearing test and receive a comprehensive report in minutes.

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