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Anyone else have a mild hearing problem that gets them down? (whinge)

(48 Posts)
Miaou Wed 22-Feb-06 21:35:05

Although I would say it affects everyday life, it's not so bad that it stops me doing things - but I do get fed up from time to time. I have to ask the kids to repeat themselves, find it hard to hear from one room to another, and often get the wrong end of the stick. But where I really come unstuck is in social situations - I was at a do on Sunday and I realised when I came away that I had had "conversations" with people that basically involved me going "yes" "mmm" etc in what I judged to be the right faces, and watching their facial expressions to see whether what they were saying was happy/sad etc - ie not much of a conversation! Then if I got asked a question I would have to ask for it to be repeated which then looked as if I hadn't been listening...

Thing is I only have a problem with one ear, and it's only with low frequency sounds, which means that a hearing aid would be of no use because it would just amplify everything, whereas I just have problems picking out conversation from background noise.

Sorry, I know there is no solution to this, it is just nice to get this off my chest and it would be good to speak to other people in the same situation (if there are any!).

Miaou Wed 22-Feb-06 21:36:10

*in what I judged to be the right places

preview, girl, preview

foxinsocks Wed 22-Feb-06 21:36:19

have you seen a specialist?

goldstarlover Wed 22-Feb-06 21:37:43

tell people! i used to know someone who had difficulty hearing in one ear. most of her friends knew and if she was at social gatherings and people were talking into her "deaf~" ear someone inevitably just mentioned that she woulodn't be able to hear from that side.

Don't struggle on... see your GP and see if there is anything they can do.
if not then let peopl eknow... they will speak up if they know you have difficulty hearing them

chapsmum Wed 22-Feb-06 21:38:14

Hello sweety, how was your first day!
My dp is deaf in one ear he has a stiff eardrum, he totally hates when we go out for a drink cause the background noise really throws him.
If we're out for a walk i have to be on his good side. Though in all honestly I think some of his deafness is selective.

Dont let it get you down...

Gloworm Wed 22-Feb-06 21:39:43

oh this sound exactly like me!
impossible to follow conversations in pubs etc.
I also find it hard to hear what you are saying if someone else is having a conversation beside me, for example when lots of people are sitting around a table.
Also I sometimes don't know people are talking to me if they are standing behind me, i dont lip read but i usually need to be looking at whoever is talking to me.
my 3 year old seems to have a similar problem, so does my mum, and my brother!
Have had my hearing tested a few times and its always been 100%fine!

WigWamBam Wed 22-Feb-06 21:40:44

I have partial hearing loss at mid-frequency in both ears. I also have severe tinnitus, which makes things worse in as much as the noises in my head often mask out speech. I can't hold a conversation in a pub or restaurant, and I very often feel that people prefer to ignore me than to make the effort to speak to me clearly (my NCT group certainly did that). I do the smiling and nodding thing too ... and keep everything crossed that I've picked up all the signals correctly!

I was actually offered a hearing aid at one point, mainly because of the tinnitus problem, and it was just as you say ... everything was amplified and I still couldn't pick out the conversation going on around me. Plus everything was suddenly so loud that it was frightening and uncomfortable to use.

I often have to ask people to repeat things, but now I've started to say "I'm sorry, I have slight hearing loss; could you just repeat that please?", and I find that people are then a little more inclined to speak clearly and slightly louder.

It's a real pain, isn't it!

coppertop Wed 22-Feb-06 21:40:56

I started losing my hearing when I was in my mid-20's and know exactly what you mean about social situations, asking people to repeat things and generally trying to get by. I have hearing-aids but they're the old NHS ones that amplify everything.

I know that you can go on the waiting-list for digital ones but it takes so long (2 -3 years) that I haven't bothered tbh.

Lots of sympathy.

MrsSpoon Wed 22-Feb-06 21:41:17

I have a dodgy ear too Miaou, had loads of ear infections as a child (and still get them as an adult), have had what I can only describe as a grotty ear for a few years now that I should really see the Dr about.

I find my main problems are when the likes of the extractor fan is on in the kitchen (at low so at a volume that most people would be able to hear over) and people who are naturally soft spoken (including the children) and people who are not very clear spoken. I find the walk home from School really difficult as DS1 wants to tell me about his day but I cannot hear a word when the cars are passing.

geekgrrl Wed 22-Feb-06 21:42:38

go and see and audiologist - hearing aids nowadays can easily be set to amplify only particular frequencies. It sounds like a real pain and you don't have to put up with it.

Miaou Wed 22-Feb-06 21:43:26

Hiya chapsmum, was fab thanks! I missed ds (well my boobs told me I did ) but I really enjoyed it. Back in on Friday.

I last had a hearing test done when I was at Uni, about 12 years ago. This was done in the doctor's surgery (I think) and I was told that a hearing aid wouldn't help. It certainly hasn't deteriorated since then.

I know I should tell people but I hate doing it. I feel very self-conscious about it (which is weird because I'm not the self-conscious type really).

MrsSpoon Wed 22-Feb-06 21:46:19

I have realised reading this that I make an almost unconcious effort to place myself so that my 'good' ear is towards the person I am likely to be speaking too, although I was with a friend recently who sat down at the other side of me and it struck me then that I subconsciously do this. I always hold the phone to the good ear too.

Miaou Wed 22-Feb-06 21:49:29

Oooh lots of replies now, you are a lovely lot.

Yes, I find the tv on in the background, or the oven on (it's a fan one) if I'm in the kitchen and dh is in the living room bit (open plan but far enough away to cause a problem), anyone in front of me, anyone not looking directly at me when they speak (I don't lip-read but if I can't see people's mouths I'm often a bit stuck) ... and I'm struggling. The phone is a blinkin' nightmare - I avoid it like the plague.

Maybe I should go back to the GP and see if they can suggest anything. I can go ages and not think about it but Sunday really got me down!

Pruni Wed 22-Feb-06 21:57:33

Message withdrawn

geekgrrl Wed 22-Feb-06 22:00:40

regarding the hearing aid, a digitial hearing aid can have completely personal frequency settings. Quite a few health trusts now offer them to new adult referrals - they've only just started doing this though, not all even offer them to children yet. But they are becoming so much more common-place (and thus cheaper for the NHS), and it sounds like you would have a good medical reason for needing a digital aid rather than an analogue one.

Judd Wed 22-Feb-06 22:05:03

I'm the same. Mine is solely in my left ear and I find it has a very low tolerance to loud noises. When the children shout close to me or the television is a little too loud, I can feel my left eardrum almost "whince". I went to the doctor and he diagnosed tinnitus (I also suffer from labyrinthitis) but it didn't get any better. I went back because the racket in my ear was so loud it kept me awake sometimes! I was also worried when DH worked away that I wouldn't be able to hear if one of the children woke in the night and needed me. This time the doctor said that as I had suffered for 6 months, I could now be referred to the hospital. I went a couple of weeks ago and had an appointment with the consultant. She recommended an MRI scan which I am having tomorrow (DH has private health insurance through work and this is covered, hence the speed in the appointment).
Sod's law of course - ear is actually fine today!

Miaou Wed 22-Feb-06 22:22:18

I don't have tinnitus, or any sensitivity to loud noise - quite the opposite, I think I probably speak a bit too loudly too . It doesn't vary with tiredness/cold/whatever either.

Judd all the best for tomorrow!

paolosgirl Wed 22-Feb-06 22:34:21

I'm deaf in one ear - the result of meningitis when I was 18 months old (this was 35 years ago, and am lucky to be alive, apparently). It doesn't really bother me most of the time, as I've lived with it all my life, so kind of accept that I won't always hear the phone etc, but I do find I can't 'zone in' on conversations with friends if we're in a noisy environment, and I have to turn my head if someone speaks to me on my deaf side. I also lip read unconsciously, which I know can be offputting, as I don't look people in the eye!

JennyLee Wed 22-Feb-06 22:35:18

I get labyrinthitis on and off makes my hearing funny my balance crap and appear spaced out. also even though I was told that is what it is from a hospital doctor my Gps that I see don't really believe it and give me stuff for supressing vomiting even though I don't vomit. also my eyes flicker with it and my hand feel funny when I get it . ears eh who needs em ? lol

spacecadet Wed 22-Feb-06 22:41:49

Miaou-it can feel horrible when your hearing is reduced, a little like you are shut off from the world, you have my sympathies.
I have partial hearing loss in my left ear and also suffer from tinnitus and recruitment, i have balance probs to and suffer frightening bouts of spinning vertigo, i am still waiting for a diagnosis, its either menieres or uncompensated labs.
i tend to talk loudly as i cant hear very well which is a little embarrassing!
Do they know whats caused your hearing loss?

Miaou Wed 22-Feb-06 22:56:26

I assume it is hereditary spacey - my dad is exactly the same (same ear too)

spacecadet Wed 22-Feb-06 22:59:29

its a shame a hearing aid wont help, you should tell people though that you have hearing loss, i always do, i need to explain why i shout and sit with the tv on full blast!

snailspace Wed 22-Feb-06 23:41:23

Message withdrawn

soapbox Wed 22-Feb-06 23:49:43

Miaou, I have had quite a significant hearing loss since being a child. It was picked up at age 5, so it could be genetic (likely as both sisters have varying degrees of hearing difficulties) or as a result of measles when I was 4.

It does cause some difficulties in everyday life - particularly in large groups/noisy environments.

I used to do a lot of training work a few years ago and I could never hear questions from the floor. I now do a lot of committee/working party stuff and it is hard to hear someone round a large board room table.

I did have a hearing aid for a few years, but it had a very bad impact on my ability to hear without it (ears get lazy) and so I was worried that the impact of my hearing loss would get greater if I used it, so I stopped.

My biggest regret is that I am very musical and as a youngster may have been destined for great things musically had I kept it up. I long to hear a piece of music as a normal hearing person would. I know that the way I hear a great symphony or overture is distorted and I have often fantasised about having just one day where I can hear normally. I would play all my favourite pieces and be happy that for once I heard them as they were intended to be heard!

OTOH in the great scheme of things it isn't a biggie! I am otherwise healthy and happy - that counts for a lot

carlk Wed 22-Feb-06 23:56:57

god yes!!! 25 years of motorcycling has destroyed my hearing (not that I will stop riding)
boil a kettle in the kitchen and I cant hear the telly in the front room but I can still hear a pin drop in a quiet room.
pubs clubs anything with background noise and I'm lost.

I get down about it sometimes when I miss things or cant follow a conversation but it is too late for me now even though i have custom earplugs to wear nowadays.

If only we knew then what we know now

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