More from my Dad’s Hearing Aid Book

Although one can usually follow the general drift of a film, even if much of the dialogue is missing, it is obviously much more satisfactory to the viewer to be able to hear clearly all the spoken words.  In which cases the hearing -aid wearer will gain muh benefit from Tleletext “sub-titles”when they are available , of from a video-recorde, making use of the “play-back” facility to “run over” tje missed episodes. (Ed – don’t forget this book is about 14 years old. Oh how things change.)

Nature provided us with two ears.  They were intended to feed signals to the brain separately to provide the owner of the brain with an awareness, not only of the fact of sounds in the vicinity, but certain supplementary information such as the direction from whence the came, their relative strengths and their “types” – distinguising for instane between gunfire, music, passing trains, baby-cries and speech from other humans.  When this hearing system is damaged in some way, or it gets a bit worn with advancing age, both ears may note be equally affected.  Even when they are, reasons an be found for treating them unequally by perhaps applying surgery to just one fo them, or supplying “symmetry”, which makes certain aspects of sound discrimination more difficult, or impossible, and the ability to “localise” sounds is reduced or lost altogether. The technicality of localising sounds depends on the so-called Doppler Effect, and is explained more fully in Chapter 4.  Meanwhile note that if you are wearing justo one hearing aid, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to know who, or what is making that noise – beware traffic. (Ed – amazing that it has ever been considered that one hearing aid will do – back to the days of the monocle).The same restrictions make it very difficult to carry on a conversation in a group of people, and you will learn that, in these conditions you will ned to place yourself very carefully, for instance with your bak to the wall, or the bar, or whatever.  This too will be considered at a greater length later. (Ed. My Dad was very fond of the old dining room in the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, where you could have a nice lunch in a well furnished dining room, and he had his back to the heavily furnished wall) And if you should happen to be a teacher, or lecturer, or public speaker, you will need to make it clear to the class or audience that by simply shouting they will not identify themselves.  Quite apart from medical or financial reasons for treating one ear instead of two, where this is an option, a reluctance to wear two hearing aids is frequently encountered in the Audiology world for no better reasons than personal diffidence.  (“Oh no! I couldn’t possibly wear two hearing aids”).  This may be understandable, particularly with the elderly, but it is a clear fact that “symmetry” is well worth retaining if it is available.  Few people have qualms about wearing pairs of spectacles – aids to both eyes.  Monocles have long been unfashionable. (Ed It seems amazing that itis only fairly recently that two hearing aids have been  a routine provision, particularl in .  In fact, when my father wrote this, it was a struggle to get two hearing aids fitted)


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