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Anyone with hearing loss in their mid thirties? Just been diagnosed.

(13 Posts)
lavenderbongo Mon 18-Jul-11 08:00:44

Hi. Just looking to share my story and find out if there is anyone else out there like me.
For the past few years my hearing has become more and more of a problem. TV had to be turned up louder than anyone else needed. Had to put subtitles on for every film and started having to get the kids to repeat things. Then it began to have an impact at work so I went to my GP and got referred to the audiologist. The first thing he says once he has tested my hearing is "I have no idea how you have been managing everyday life with this amount of hearing loss!"
This has really shaken me up. I think I have been compensating for years. Avoiding social situations where I know I won't be able to hear everything. Having to guess the topic of conversation as I have missed the beginning. Hoping my face is showing the right expression for what has just been said.
I probably have an inherited hearing loss (genetic) and it is likely to get worse. I will have to keep an eye on my kids as they may have inherited it.
I just wondered if there is anyone out there who has experienced anything similar?
I am going to get some hearing aids fitted tomorrow and I am really interested to see what kind of difference they make. Apparently I have been going round for years with everything muffled.

HippyHippopotamus Mon 18-Jul-11 08:11:14

I haven't told anyone in RL, the only person who knows is my dh but i'm having a hearing test tomorrow. this is after years of pretending to myself that everything's ok. I realised when chatting with my boss in a one to one situation that I lip read because I couldn't understand what he was saying when he covered his mouth. I find especially difficult if there's any background noise.

Have you told anyone in RL?

I'm in my mid thirties too and i'm very pleased to meet you lavender
Can we hold hands? [weak smile]

lavenderbongo Mon 18-Jul-11 10:51:41

Hi. Thanks for replying. I am going to get hearing aids fitted tomorrow so it would be great to have someone to share this with. I have told a few of my close friends as my hearing loss was becoming a bit too obvious. Why have you not told many people? I find it very difficult to admit to people that I haven't heard them properly as I worry they won't know how to react.
I will come back to tomorrow and let you know what the hearing aids were like. Hope your appointment goes well. I am in new Zealand so my posting times are a bit odd!

HippyHippopotamus Mon 18-Jul-11 11:56:41

i've kept quiet because i'm embarrassed about it. its ridiculous, i'll happily discuss my post-birth fanjo issues but not my ears hmm I'm thinking and typing here but i think by telling friends/family it makes it real. Mum's looking after dcs for me tomorrow when i pop out and she has no idea where i'm going! i'm quite surprised she hasn't asked me, she normally does if i ask her to babysit!
I feel like i should have namechanged because i've got quite a few friends on here, hey ho, if they're reading this, my secret's out!

I've reread your op and it sounds like you're suffering more than me. I only really struggle if there's background noise and i can't see someone's mouth. I've been in denial a long time and it was only after a recent wedding that I realised that I should really get checked out. I think one ear is worse than the other but i'm not sure. Have to admit i'm pretty scared about it all

Are you excited about getting the hearing aids tomorrow?

Clarence15 Mon 18-Jul-11 13:42:45

My dh is partly deaf and has 2 hearing aids. His deafness is due to a birth defect and was only picked up when he was in his teens. It tends to come and go, strangely, so sometimes he's ok and other times he's almost completely deaf.

He first got hearing aids when he was about 18 and wouldn't wear them as he was too embarrassed. He gets by very well by lipreading and although he does now wear his aids some of the time, there are loads of people who've known him for years and who see them and say 'I didn't know you were deaf'!

He doesn't wear them all the time, mainly just when he needs to concentrate and if there's background noise, so watching tv or in the pub lol! He's lost his embarrassment now and isn't that bothered by them, but I know he doesn't really like the brown ones he's got - he had blue ones at one point and preferred the look of those even though they stood out more. Mostly, people who notice them do the 'I didn't know you were deaf...' thing and they have a bit of a discussion about it, and how he's always been deaf etc. Nothing more than you would have about glasses etc. Sometimes he forgets them so he has to tell the people he's with he's ' forgotten his ears' and apologises if he misses something. Most people know now and just make sure he can see their face if they ask him something.

I hope this helps a bit, no doubt having hearing aids might make you feel a bit self-conscious at first but I would say just tell people as soon as possible and it won't be an issue at all. And you'll be able hear properly which will be great smile

catinthehat2 Mon 18-Jul-11 13:51:55

please get good info from the specialist on how to keep them clean if they have little tubes onthem

am currently dealin g with an elderly relative whose heraing aids got quickly, completely, revoltingly, unnecessarily and irreversibly bunged up with wax

lavenderbongo Mon 18-Jul-11 20:46:14

Ooo-thats revolting catinthehat2! I will make sure I keep them clean now!

Hi Hippo - I am not sure how bad my hearing is. I think I have been living with it for quite some time and didn't really notice it until I went back to work. I think I may be lip reading as well without realising it. I am not really embarrassed about having hearing aids partly because I find it preferable to tell people I have a hearing problem rather than make an embarrassing mistake during conversation or accidently ignore them and then they might think I'm being rude.

Also my cousin has had hearing problems since birth and has always worn hearing aids so I guess I don't see them as embarrassing.

The only people I haven't told are the people I work with. Being able to hear is rather important for my job (which I love) and I am terrified that if I can't get my hearing to improve it will mean the end of my career. So I am hoping that my hearing is not going to deteriorate any further.

Thanks Clarence. I like the phrase "forgotten my ears" I think I might borrow that one. I am actually quite excited about trying my hearing aids today. I am hoping that I will be able to take them away with me today. But I am not sure exactly how it works - or whether they have to be fitted first. I will pop back tonight and let you know how it went.

HippyHippopotamus Mon 18-Jul-11 22:41:24

but it is tonight already wink (this time difference thing always confuses me!)

i guess i'm more embarrassed that i've left it this long to get tested. I think friends are going to feel bad that I've not said anything but mostly it hasn't been a problem. eg we've met in one of our houses, not much other noise happening, i've been close enough to see their lips etc.

so its not the wearing of hearing aids that is embarrassing per se, its that i've left it until now to do anything about it

i've got a deaf cousin too, strange coincidence. it was caused by her mum having german measles whilst pg though so not a genetic connection. my grandma was pretty deaf (and wore hearing aids) but i always assumed hers was from old age. perhaps it wasn't...

how many hours away from now is your appointment? i'm really pleased you're excited smile I imagine it'll be really strange to start with and almost sad perhaps when you discover how much you've been missing out on, maybe? i might just be projecting my thoughts onto you though blush

notcitrus Tue 19-Jul-11 08:01:12

Hi lavender
I'm in my mid-30s, had a hearing aid since I was 14 (two since I was 23).
Welcome to the club!

Have you had moulds of your ears taken? After that you should get the aids and your earmoulds (assuming behind-the-ear aids) in a couple weeks. With luck you'll get to choose what colour you want - if they didn't ask, do ask what other colour aids they have, as black/silver/red looks so much cooler - like designer glasses.

If the aids are still uncomfortable after a week or so, do go back and get the earmoulds filed down to fit properly, and don't be embarrassed about doing this a few times - if the aids hurt, you won't wear them!

As you've already discovered, understanding people when there's no background noise is so much easier than when there is - and aids will help but there's still that difference compared to others.

Lastly - if you need more help at work, like an amplified phone, or a headset to cut out background, or a better mobile phone that plugs into yout aids, have a look at and ask questions, and also look into Access to Work who should pay for anything expensive.
Happy to answer any questions.

tortilla Tue 19-Jul-11 08:15:46

This thread is really interesting for me as I am thinking of getting a hearing test. I seem to have issues particularly with my left ear, although it doesn't seem quite as bad as yours lavender and hippy. I had problems with dizziness and generally feeling bunged up in my ears immediately after having my DD but was told it was hormonal. This carried on and I was told by my GP that I may have labyrinthitis but couldn't take any drugs for it because of breastfeeding so was just told to see how it went and it was never certain if that is what I had. The dizziness finally stopped about a month ago (so it went on for 8 months!). But through that time, my left ear often felt really tired (does that sound weird? I just noticed often that it couldn't quite pick up the sounds, as if it wasn't working at full capacity, and sometimes feels like it has something in it muffling things) and I'd have to turn fully to hear sounds. Even though the dizziness has gone, I find I can no longer hear well when people are talking softly, or when there is background noise as I tend to tune into that, and I often have to get my DH or DS to repeat things. It takes my ears a little while to tune into a conversation so if DH says something and rattles it off quickly I don't get the conversation - it's like I need him to catch my attention first so I can focus my ears on him. So I've found that I've stopped listening to the radio or music when my DCs are around or when DH is talking to me, and my left ear is definitely worse as when my 3yo DS is talking to me when I am driving - so he's behind me to my left - I cannot hear a word he says unless I get him to speak really slowly and clearly and he usually has to repeat things 4 or 5 times. But I wonder sometimes if I'm just imagining all of this because I had the dizziness etc for a while so I'm focusing on there being a problem when maybe it's all ok?

I think I need to get tested just to know whether it is a hearing problem, or whether I am imagining it!

Do I just go to my GP, or can you do walk-in type tests like you can with opticians?

HSMM Tue 19-Jul-11 08:29:03

I have hearing aids. I stopped wearing them, because I hate the fact that I can hear the baby crying at the far end of the supermarket and that when we go out for dinner, I can hear every time someone puts down their cutlery. It is a slight draw back that I can't hear my DD, or DH, unless they are standing in front of me smile.

I know I should go back and talk to the specialist about it, but ..... busy busy life you know.

Having said that ... it was fascinating to hear things like the fact that the buttons on my mobile phone click when I press them ... I didn't know that smile.

HippyHippopotamus Tue 19-Jul-11 18:18:00

lavender how did you get on today?

tortilla assuming you're in UK, just go to your gp and ask for a referral. i could have written your post (including the ages of your children!)

well, i've been tested today and apparently my right ear is ok but left ear is borderline. no further action at the moment but i'm to go back to my gp if i feel its getting worse

EssentialFattyAcid Tue 19-Jul-11 18:24:51

What is the cause of your deafness? If it is otosclerosis please feel free to PM me!

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