25 days to go
The early days after becoming suddenly deaf in one ear were a steep learning curve accompanied by an array of uncomfortable emotions. My good ear works but takes second place to the tinnitus in the deaf ear which is quite aggressive. I have permanent loud, hissing white noise overlaid with squeaks, piercing high pitched whines and occasional flapping noises. When I lie down it sounds like water running down the back of my head. In the presence of persistent noise such as wind, water, traffic or people talking, the tinnitus crescendos and masks what my good ear hears.
I constantly ask people to repeat what they’ve said. If they speak on my deaf side they think I’m rude as I don’t hear them. I’ve been treated as if I’m stupid (often in shops). If I tell people I’m deaf in that ear they come round and shout in my good ear (never understood that one).
I had to stop going to social functions as I couldn’t join in and I started to feel quite isolated. I’m normally a ‘glass half full’ person but became quite depressed. My confidence took a knock and I stopped public speaking for a while. I have learned where to position myself in meetings or at the dinner to best hear everyone and I’ve learned to lip read which helps.
If I sleep with my good ear to the pillow then I won’t hear alarms or telephones –this makes for a poor night’s sleep if I do need to set an alarm.
Losing my stereo hearing means I can’t locate the source of sound. If there’s a strange noise in the house it can take me ages to track it down. When out for a run I don’t hear vehicles until they’re almost level with me. There are some railways where I run and more than once I’ve experienced a huge spike in heart rate and surge of adrenaline at the sound of a high speed train seemingly about the run me over from behind.
Friends who run with me know which side to be on if they want to talk about me and which if they want to talk to me 😊
Mask wearing during Covid has made conversation difficult again as I can’t lip read.
These are a few ways my particular deafness affects me. Some of them will affect others who have hearing loss too – I hope they give an insight to our world.
There are many causes for hearing loss and if you think your hearing might be deteriorating then see your GP to get a proper diagnosis.
Believe you can and you're halfway there