Things people don’t understand about hearing loss: number two….hearing aids don’t give you your hearing back

45282551 - puppy listening with raised ear. dog eavesdroppingBut people think they do, don’t they?  They think you put them in your ears and, lo and behold, you can hear again.  But it’s not like that.  It’s become a bit of a cliché amongst people with hearing loss that hearing aids are not like spectacles, but it’s true.  I’m short-sighted but when I put my glasses on I can see almost perfectly.  Hearing aids???  No, no…..not like that at all.

Well, let me have a caveat here.  They don’t work like glasses unless your hearing loss is really fairly mild.  I meet people and I read about people who do, in fact, put their hearing aids in and experience a huge and immediate benefit.  I’m sure when I got my first one, about twenty five years ago, it made a big difference.  When there is just a relatively small amount of hearing loss to be tweaked amplifying the “hearing loss bits” works.  It’s when the “hearing loss bits” get more substantial that the problems really kick in. Continue reading

Curlew, care homes……

85612769 - curlew, on the grass, during the winter, close upCurlews first.  A couple of weeks ago the guys from Med-El were back with us for another filming session, the last for several months; they are returning later this year for a “one year later” session and then we’re done.  Nigel and I were sitting on the settee, talking about how things were going, three months after switch-on, when the subject of curlews came up.  I don’t think that particular clip will get into the final version because Nigel said “have you heard curlews yet?” and I said “no, not yet”, which is not very thrilling for a film.  But now I have.

This morning at 8.30 it was ferociously misty when Izzy and I set off for the moorland above our house.  The higher we got the denser it became.  So dense, in fact, that I missed one turning on the moor and we blundered off in quite the wrong direction for a while.  And then I heard curlew, loud and clear.  Continue reading

Are you a hider or a flaunter?

My prize for the most infuriating newspaper ad about deafness is the one for Hidden Hearing Ltd – “Pensioners stampede for new hearing aid”.  Really?  I don’t think so.  How to patronise retired people in one easy lesson?  Possibly.  Company has no copy writers over the age of thirty?  Quite likely.  Or perhaps it’s just me and I lack a sense of humour.

pensioners stampedeThe point of the advert is to promote one of the tiny, in-the-ear-canal hearing aids that are totally invisible when worn.  They literally fit right down inside your ear, with nothing at all showing in or on the visible bits.  Sadly, they are only suitable for people with the milder levels of hearing loss or I’d have put my name down.  But the debate about the pros and cons of “invisible” hearing aids crops up quite often in the online deaf/hearing loss community, with a lot of people arguing that “invisible” equates to “something to be ashamed of”.  Why should we be ashamed of our hearing loss, they say?

I can see both sides. Continue reading

To persevere or not to persevere?

Copyright: photoman / 123RF Stock Photo

That’s the question.

And the answer is……I don’t know.  When do we persevere with something and when do we say “whoah, something not right here”?  I’ve written two previous posts on other aspects of this dilemma – I Give Up and Don’t Give Up (you can see I didn’t reach a conclusion then either) but this is specifically about hearing aids. Continue reading

Do you take your hearing aids out to relax?

Copyright: rrraven / 123RF Stock Photo

Amazingly, it is a year since I started blogging.  The first post on More Than A Bit Deaf was on 22 February 2016.  I’m still enjoying it hugely.  And I’m learning.  The more I read about deafness (other people’s blogs, Facebook groups, things I look into to research the topic of a post) the more I realise that everyone experiences their hearing loss in a different way.  We have different stories to tell, different preferences and different ways of coping.

Some of these differences are big ones, like the “Deaf or deaf” differences talked about in last week’s post.  Some are more trivial.  Continue reading

Hearing aid alert

Copyright: carmenbobo / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: carmenbobo / 123RF Stock Photo

A few months ago one of my hearing aids began occasionally playing up, or rather occasionally switching off, for no apparent reason.  After twenty-odd years of using hearing aids I’m adept at solving the little things that can go wrong (faulty batteries, or wax or condensation blocking the tubing are the most common problems) but it wasn’t any of those.  Mysteriously, left to its own devices (outside my ear) for ten or fifteen minutes the aid would switch itself on again.  Then, it would work perfectly normally for a week or so and then – whoops – go (temporarily) off again.  It was a minor irritant.  When it happened I’d tell myself to contact audiology to see if it needed servicing or something, but I never got round to it. Continue reading