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Deafness...

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Dude84

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I'm not sure if there's already a thread on this subject, aside to say that I haven't started one; I did try searching and couldn't find anything along the same lines, so here goes...

Right, i've been of the opinion for years that I can't hear properly, particuarly in my right ear, probably some kind of birth defect along with my defective eyesight, etc.

This was never taken seriously by anyone, parents and the medical proffession included; it was always attributed to every other possible conceivable explanation imaginable, such as "growing pains" (wtf?), "temporary development issues", and even, and I like this one, "stress related conditions"...

Well, after years of trying to get this sorted, i've eventually got somewhere (I think, anyway). It seems that the attitudes of GPs really do vary across the country, i've had alot more success getting medical issues resolved here than anywhere else i've lived.

My GP is of the opinion that i'm right; i'm awaiting an ENT referral (can't get a direct audiologist refferal, as i'm under 60, lol), where it will be looked into further.

However, this may actually confirm the (from my perspective), inevitable, but i'm scared, really scared. The only thing that scares me more is going blind (thankfully, my eyesight is actually improving), but I mean, what if its progressive? What if I go completely deaf?

Atm, it only seems to be the right-ear which is problematic; the left-ear is not perfect, but is almost normal. However, this is worse in some respects, as it means there's a quiet audible difference between the two, everything sounds distorted, out of phase, etc - and I was almost run over twice today because I didn't hear vehicles approaching!

So yeah, i'm scared, and scared, and scared; I know this may sound pathetic, but this is quite a big deal to me.

Is anyone else here deaf/hearing impaired? Can anyone suggest any advice? Anything would be appreciated, particuarly anyone in the UK who's been through the whole NHS audiology procedure type thing...

MarkFox
 
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stanfordhawks

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Can't help you on the referral process. Or the eyesight but the hearing I can relate to... sorta. I'm a tuba and trumpet player and I lead a section of 11 trumpets and 4 tubas. I get instruments blown into my ear for 90 minutes everyday for the past 4 years. I have lost hearing. But it's nothing medical so sorry to spam the post.

Now to my understanding someone does make a hearing aid that looks like a bluetooth headset. I will try to find the link.
 

Pojo

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Sometimes I think I have bad hearing, but I've passed hearing tests just fine...My eyesight isn't that good though, and it's worse every year...I just hope that I don't go blind, because then I'd probably try to kill myself...
 

Yawnie

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Ya, I'm hearing impaired, the one thing is that they are most likely gonna check out you hearing capabilities with sound tests (really boring stuff) they stick you into this small sound proof room, put a head set on you, then play sounds at different pitches and frequencies into your ears, one ear at a time, every time you hear a sound, you push a button that they give you to hold, which tells them that you heard it, then they compare the results of your test to those of normal hearing. If it is warranted, which I think will happen, they will recommend that you wear a hearing aid in your one ear, but the ITC which fits in your ear canal to the point wear you can hardly see it if your worry about people seeing it (I don't know why people are scared of other people seeing it). But nothing to worry about, I highly doubt it is getting worse.

They have a couple versions:



ITE (In the ear)- which is the first one in the pic, and then you have BTE which are the other two, I have BTE for both ears, as I'm pretty deaf and the BTE are more powerful, but I like the BTE, as I got mine in blue like the one in the pic, as well as blue molds for my ears, pretty cool. And then they have ITC: (In the Canal), which is completely in the canal like so...



As stanfordhawks was saying, I haven't seen one that looks like bluetooth, but about that, hearing aids are becoming bluetooth compatible for phones, MP3 players, head sets, listen to music and online radio stations via your computer, and anything else that you need to stick into you ears. I have to take mine in for a repair, as one of mine was stepped on and the clear tube was snapped off of the unit, and I have to get mine operating with blutooth.

This is what makes it bluetooth compatible which goes around your neck...



And to me, it's always fun watching people while lip reading, lol, esp. when they are telling people secrets, lmao

And that's that. Nothing to be scared of, even though it may be a bit intimidating at first.
 
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I'm just slightly deaf. Can't hear high frequencies that I know other people my age can hear, and should be able to hear. Sometimes I have to ask people to speak up or repeat something, even though I should be able to hear them clearly. Have had 6 ear operations to boot.
 

starshine

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I know I have hearing issues. But mine are weird.

It's like... I can't hear people who talk low, and I read lips quite a bit. But I also don't like loud nosies. Unless I CHOOSE it. I can listen to my tv loud, or my music... but if someone starts yelling, or talking loud, or turns their stuff up loud then it really bothers me.
 

g6s

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But I also don't like loud nosies. Unless I CHOOSE it. I can listen to my tv loud, or my music... but if someone starts yelling, or talking loud, or turns their stuff up loud then it really bothers me.
Last I checked Mandi, that's not abnormal. I don't like loud things unless I want something to be loud. :p Don't lose a lot of sleep over it.
 

Darkfinn

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I understand your fears... and I'd be scared to... but these are fascinating modern times we live in... and there is a range of technology available to help you hear should you have a problem. If it is simply a hearing problem in one ear then you can get a hearing aid... millions of people have them... and the sophistication level is simply amazing. My stepdad sells hearing aids to doctors offices all through the south eastern USA. I've seen some of the product and they are pretty cool.

Even if you do end up going completely deaf... it's not the end of the world. Deaf culture and Sign Language is a very interesting thing... there are millions of deaf people worldwide who live a perfectly good life. I don't know all that much about it... but I have been to a few events with members of the local deaf community and I can tell you they are genuinely good people. LuvsGurl has studied American Sign Language and Deaf Culture pretty extensively... I will refer her to this thread to provide further information.

Perhaps you should consider doing some reading and learning more about the deaf culture over in your neck of the woods?
 

ballucanb

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I have an older brother who was a carpenter for years, he has hearing damage and refuses to wear a hearing aid, so we have to yell at him at times.

I have a little damage for raceing, but I do hear well enough, and take precautions when around noisy equipment, I noticed since I lived where I do now, other people in the neighborhood wearing ear protection when cutting grass or working with equipment, and I know they didn't wear it before, I used to get the looks when I was out rideing my mower like, look at that nut with the ear phones on, but they are all weaing them now.

I wish you well with your tests, I'm sure they can help you minimize your hearing loss in the future, by acting now. Good Luck...B
 

Peachy

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I think you - together with a medical expert - should find out exactly what is wrong with your hearing. That's the only way to answer those nagging questions you asked:
- Will it get worse in the future?
- What can I do to keep my hearing from getting worse?
- Are there any surgeries / technical aids that could help me to reverse the damage?

I, for one, have excellent hearing - way more sensitive than the average person my age. I found that out earlier this year in London, as I was walking towards Wembley Stadium. Apparently, the walkway between the Underground station and the stadium used to have problems with young people hanging out there and either harrassing random passers-by or destroying property. At least the city of London put up speakers that emit a high-pitched, crickling static-like noise that only young people can hear and that is unberarable after a few minutes. Even I - way past my years of a rebelling teen - found the sound unberable and hurried up to get back into the Tube station.

I heard a while ago that almost half of the current teen population will go semi-deaf and will need a hearing aid between the age of 30 and 40 because of the constant use of mobile music players that emit noise at a volume that is damaging to the human ear. Doesn't surprise me when I fairly often run into teens / young adults listening to music on a bus at a volume that I (!) find annoying...sitting 3 seats away!

Peachy
 

Jeremiah

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Yes, I have damaged hearing. Until the start of second grade, ear infections plagued me. Right before starting second grade, my tonsils and adenoids were removed in hopes of resolving the recurring problem. Several doctors have mentioned visible "scar tissue" on my ear drum from infections building up sufficient pressure to puncture the ear drum. After that was resolved, I began enjoying activities that were likely to cause hearing loss, such as operating gas powered lawn machines, dirt bikes, and firearms. When available, I am fairly good about wearing hearing protection. For some activities such as target practice, I often wear both ear plugs and ear muffs. Yes, the damage is largely permanent, but has not gotten much worse.

I live with a few minor inconveniences due to the previous damage, but nothing serious. Altitude changes take longer for my ears to adjust, sometimes painfully so. Mountain driving and plane rides include pain, but don't stop me from having fun. Water in my ears or cold air can also cause painful reactions. I have a stocking cap, q-tips, and don't swim much. Conversations may be more difficult to follow, but also easier to tune out. Thankfully, no serious problems.

From what you have said, you do not have much to worry about at this time. The distracting sounds are annoying, but manageable. The previous doctors you have visited do not sound very helpful. You need to ensure that your current doctor understands the length of time this has been occurring and the serious impact that it has upon your quality of life. Please be adamant about getting a referral to a specialist. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

Best of luck! Hopefully, you will have your answers soon enough, "because you've got a lot of living to do."
 

Lil Snap

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I have had a lot of the same issues, and causes as Jeremiah, with the addition that I perforated my left eardrum when I fell headfirst into the water while skiing. Fast forward 15 years, and now my left ear hears about 40% less in the high ranges than my right ear. The imbalance messes with me sometimes but I have gotten used to it somewhat
 

LuvsGurl

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I do not know that I can say much here. Other then I would go with what Jeremiah and Snapcroch are saying. Talk with a doctor, self diegnosis is not going to do you any good. The test is nothing to worry about. And like DF said even if you were to find out it was deginerative much like Ushers if you have eye problems as it is. (I do not think this is likley at all.) There are many people through out the world that live fine lives with little or no hearing. Though most people I work with and know have had these issues from birth. So I know more about the Deaf culture, what you are speaking of is Hoh or HI culture, this is a little different.
 
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Damn, dude, sorry to hear that, but like someone else said, we live in such a technologically advanced world, im sure theres something they can do for you!! GL!
 
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I'm partially deaf (in both ears) and wear an in-the-canal hearing aid. They do work really well, and really aren't noticeable.

Even if it is degenerative, within the next 10 years or so they'll probably have synthetic eardrums and stuff, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I think it accounts for my strange taste in music - I wonder a lot if I'm just missing something with the "popular" music that people listen to. Most of the music I listen to has a lot more lows and highs /shrug.
 

pixel

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I can relate - I acquired tinnitus almost a year ago from racing/loud engines. Although my case is not bad enough to interfere (by that I mean audible) daily. I can hear it at night, before I sleep =) Anyways, it put me into a depression for several months until I got over it. I had my hearing tested, and luckily I hear perfectly with both ears. But from the said experience, I learned an important lesson.

Just take good care of your ears and eyes. I know pretty much how it feels to worry about your hearing. Hope youll be alright

Oh (sorry for the double post), I thought you may want to know what to expect from the ENT place. Basically what happens is that you put on a pair of headphones, and they play different sound frequencies to test your hearing range. They also play these at different volumes.

Oh! I found this! If you want to test your hearing range yourself, listen to these frequencies carefully to test yourself. I hope this helps.

Test your hearing range
 
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andysetra

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I've always had great hearing in the high frequencies like Peachy. I remember in school I could always tell if there was computers on in a room before entering it (CRT monitors give off a high frequency squeal). I do, however, have problems with the middle frequencies, especially with certain peoples' voices. Sometimes I have to really struggle to understand them if there is any other noise in the background. There's a history of hearing loss on my mom's side of the family (the same side that gave me this marvelous diabeetus). I haven't gone to get it tested mainly because I'm afraid of what they'll tell me. If it gets any worse, I think I'll go...

Oh and I've always wondered how some people can listen to their music so loud in earphones. When I used earbuds I keep the music at a volume that I can still hear my surroundings (similar to if I was listening to a nearby radio). They're not supposed to drown out other sounds! So, if my hearing goes, it'll be because of genetics and not damage :p
 
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