What's in this blog? Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

"Mankind is terrified of silence, is uncomfortable in the quiet, is this the reason they need so much going on around them that is noisy? "

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quick, Where's the Volume Control? Cafe Java

What do you do on a cold, wet, rainy day at lunch time? Eat lunch at Cafe Java along with 40 of your closest strangers. Cafe Java in Round Rock has great, healthy meals. Yesterday however, it was crowded and noisy. The waiter said it was normal and he had tuned it out. The noise level to me was border line on painful. My hearing aids were selective, with some voices louder than others. There were four teenage girls in the booth behind us. I heard most of what the girls were saying about school, guys and other stuff like I was sitting next to them. They giggled and laughed a lot more than I do.

This lunch was the best argument I have heard for hearing aid's with remote volume controls without sticking your fingers in your ears. 3 beeps lower than normal, the roar turned into a burble.

Then I realized that my wife was talking to me. "Blah, blah, blah, blah" Huh? Hell no I can't understand you. So 2 beeps louder on the remote and I could understand what she was saying to me. The background noise became exactly that.

I heard every word the server said and ordered my lunch without anyone repeating anything. Most important of all, I could actually hear what my wife was saying and give her a no BS answer. The firmware and programming in the Dual XW's is amazing. Just for grins, I turned them off for a few minutes during lunch to remind myself what the world sounded like three months ago. There is no way I would go back to the world of marginal hearing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Losing My Compensating Skills?

After my hearing aids died at work yesterday ( 2 beeps and 15 min later, dead batteries). I had to listen unaided for about an hour to a typical busy Monday morning. I found myself guessing what people were saying, filling in the gaps and shouting. After I replaced the batteries and powered up the hearing aids, I realized that I seem to have lost my ability to compensate for my hearing loss. Or maybe I wasn't as good at it as I thought I was. My wife says the latter is true.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not Without Your Hearing Aids

 A couple of nights ago, I was talking to my wife after I took my HA's out.  A few minutes after our conversation started she told me. "I won't talk to you without your hearing aids, it's too hard to talk to you without them." She was right, lesson learned.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Asprin and Other Pain Killers Linked to Hearing Loss in Men

I have been taking 81mg Aspirin for several years as a preventative measure against heart disease. This article dated Mar. 1 links  Aspirin with hearing loss in men 50-59 yrs old. Nothing is free or risk free.

Pain Killers Linked to Hearing Loss

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forgot I Had Them On, or Too Much Multi-tasking

In the midst of getting four things done before I left the house, a quick shower was in order. I remember thinking, wow the shower is really LOUD tonight. One leg in the shower and then, Oh crap, forgot to take the HA's out. No harm done, took them out and wiped a few drops of water off of them. Wife's only comment was "Are they insured or under warranty?"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Month and Counting, Living in Two Worlds

I was at my Dad's home in Northern Virginia this week for a long overdue visit.We spend a lot of time visiting and talking about everything in general and nothing in specific. I asked him when he realized that he noticed his hearing loss. He told me that while he was on a layover, he was sitting on the bed in his hotel room when he put his watch to his ear. He realized that he could not hear his watch ticking in his right ear and could barely hear it in his left ear. He was fitted for his first pair of hearing aids a few weeks later. He was 58 and that was in 1984. Today he is mostly deaf in his right ear and has a severe loss in his left ear. Several pairs of hearing aids later at 85 years old his hearing has continued to deteriorate. To quote my dad, "Old age is a pain in the ass". What most impressed him most about my hearing aids was the blue tooth interface. Maybe after his taxes are done a trip to Costco is in order.

Living in Two Worlds
Every night about 10:00 pm I take my hearing aids out. I clean them and put them in my Store and Dry for the night. Each time I do this, I return to a world where sounds are muffled and I am back to " Huh, What did she say?" When I wake up, my brain has adjusted to the change in audio input and the sounds I can't hear aren't as noticeable until I put my hearing aids back in. The blue tooth links up with my Blackberry and I am back in the world of the hearing. I wish I could wear my hearing aids 24 hours a day. While not perfect they are huge improvement compared to my unaided hearing.

What's That?
Most people don't see my hearing aids but they do see my Streamer around my neck. No one knows what it is. The TSA screener at the airport and security guards at several facilities didn't know what it was and asked me not to wear it. A brief explanation and pointing to my hearing aids answered their questions. It's obvious they expected the hearing aids to look different

Batteries and Domes and Dry & Store
Batteries last about 5-6 days before they die a sudden death. Changing both domes takes about 5 minutes. The Store and Dry may be overkill but it's seems like a good investment to dry and sanitize the hearing aids daily. It also provides safe storage every night at home or traveling in a place I won't forget.