Last week I took the plunge and got fitted for much needed hearing aids.
My hearing loss had been gradual, but was bumped into a severe mode from a recent encounter with a badly behaving, screechy cell phone.
Since the cell phone incident, I found myself cut off from parts of everyday life.
Phone calls sounded garbled. I couldn’t pick up jokes and side chit chat of friends. Trying to follow what people were saying at large social conversations became a challenge.
Since the recent hearing loss, I cranked the TV volume to the highest setting. Bill and I stopped renting movies because most dialogues sounded muffled.
A trip to my doctor and to an audiologist confirmed that I had hearing losses in both ears, with a more significant loss in the ear that endured the blast from the cell phone.
Still—for a variety of reasons—I put off buying hearing aids. It seemed that a lot of people were not completely happy with their hearing aids. Everyone seemed to have an old set “that didn’t work too well.”
Then, a few weeks ago, some new findings on hearing loss lit a fire under me.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and at the National Institute on Aging showed “a direct relationship between the participants’ degree of hearing loss and their risk of later developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.”
Since my mother had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, I didn’t want to stack the deck against me anymore than it was.
Last Thursday I visited the audiologist, who had the results of my hearing tests, and about an hour late I walked out of the office and once again felt a part of this wonderful world.
Unfortunately many with hearing loss are cut off from the opportunity to hear well because hearing aids are costly and are not covered by Medicare.
Readers, I’d like to hear about your experiences with hearing loss. Have hearing aids helped you? Is it the expense that prevents you or a family member from getting fitted with hearing aids? Is it the stigma of wearing hearing aids?