This blog is about living in a hearing world if, like me, you have two deaf ears. In the 30 or so years I have been profoundly deaf, I have developed ways to cope. Some of the things that have worked for me might work for you as well. And perhaps you have some tips, too?
My hearing loss (90dB) was acquired in adult life, so – technically – you can say that I am ‘deafened’. But the terms ‘deaf’, ‘deafened’, ‘hard of hearing’ and tend to confuse rather than explain.
For me, the reality is that I have no natural hearing left: that means that I cannot even
hear the sound of my own voice. It is like walking around in the snow. But I get some benefit from two digital hearing aids (Phonak UK Nathos S + UP Wireless), which I wear most of the time. They enable me to hear and modulate my own voice. Otherwise, the wisp of hearing amplified does not return me to a comprehensible world; it just makes life louder. Most importantly, I cannot understand human speech – yes, I perceive the sound of a person’s voice (if it is deep enough) but not the sense. That’s the frustration, for me and for the other person too. So I lipread (but you can see only about a third of the English language on a speaker’s lips, if they are speaking clearly); I make wild guesses (in an attempt not to seem too slow and too stupid); and I ask folk to write down for me – I always have a notebook to hand. That’s how it is with two deaf ears.
If it’s the same for you, then this is the blog to follow.