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Hearing loss as a young adult

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#1 JomoMum

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:37 PM

By young adult, I mean early 30’s, as opposed to typical hearing loss that occurs in general aging.

What sort of loss do you have? What do you struggle with? What are your coping mechanisms?

I’m 33 and have mild loss in high frequency (I think that’s what it’s called). Drug induced after chemo 18 months ago, it was an expected and common side effect. I’ve since been tested, and while still just within the normal range, the audiologist was clearly able to see where I’m struggling. Any background noise at all and I can’t understand a person. A thick accent also does me in if there is someone else talking around me or other background noise.

I don’t feel comfortable telling people about it because I don’t feel like they will understand, or believe that I’m being genuine for some reason.

I will definitely need an aid of some sort earlier than I may have if it were just general aging. That doesn’t really bother me I guess. But I feel like at 33 no one would believe that I can’t hear properly, which is silly I know.

#2 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:23 PM

There's many more discreet hearing aid options these days, including ones that you can Bluetooth your phone to, or tune into the TV, etc. We don't make a big deal of people needing vision aids, so hopefully your family and friends don't make an issue out of hearing aids.

#3 Mands09

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:31 PM

I’m having a hearing test on Monday. I’m 31 but can barely hear anything in one ear, ringing in the ear. It’s pretty frustrating, it’s part of the reason I never returned to my former casual position at work after I recovered from glandular fever. So no advice but you aren’t the only one.

#4 WaitForMe

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:36 PM

I do, it sucks...

I can hear better with hearing aids, but its still far from perfect. Noisy situations are still awful.

I have discovered I'm a pretty good lip reader, its enough to fill in the blanks and get me over the line in many situations.

My aids also have the various programs and iphone app. Its ok but not without its problems too. Theres only so much stuffing around with the programs I can do without looking very rude!

Edited by WaitForMe, 13 June 2019 - 09:36 PM.

#5 cardamom

Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:02 PM

View PostJomoMum, on 13 June 2019 - 08:37 PM, said:

But I feel like at 33 no one would believe that I can’t hear properly, which is silly I know.

I get it - I found out I had lost about half of my high frequency hearing on one side when I was 27ish. My mum and aunt are both profoundly deaf and I had always anticipated that I would end up with some kind of hearing loss.

I don't bandy it about but don't hide it either. I've found most people understanding, albeit surprised. The main time it comes up is when I'm walking with someone and I need to swap sides so they're standing next to my 'good' ear.

Oh, and crowded places with lots of background noise, that's always a pain in a group - I just end up doing the awkward 'smile and nod' with no real idea of what's happening in the conversation around me.

And the phone. I hate the phone.

#6 Torey

Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:24 PM

I am severely to profoundly deaf in my right ear - I basically can't hear anything out of that ear. It happened pretty much overnight (sudden sensorineural hearing loss) as an unexpected complication of a severe, acute illness. It was five years ago now- I was 38. My other ear was unaffected.

It's been surprisingly hard, though I have gotten more used to it as time has gone on and I do find it bothers me less now. I no longer have directional hearing - you need both ears to tell where a sound comes from - which I find really frustrating and also can be dangerous (crossing the street, for example). After years of normal hearing my brain plays tricks on me and thinks it knows where a sound is coming from, but it doesn't.

When out, restaurants with carpet and ceiling batts to muffle sound are fantastic. I try to put my back against a wall. My husband's job when out with me is to pay attention to anything I might miss - ie a waiter talking in that ear from behind me - and point it out.

One positive thing - I can sleep well in a noisy environment because I can just sleep on my 'good' ear!

Edited by Torey, 13 June 2019 - 10:27 PM.

#7 JomoMum

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:01 PM

Thanks everyone. It’s interesting to read your experiences. I guess it’s something, like any other ‘deficit’, you get used to and make allowances for.

I need to start thinking about being more open and frank about it.

Cheesy Sanga, you’re right. No one would think twice if I had a vision impairment. I think because there’s  no obvious signs (like a hearing aid) that it could obviously surprise people. And I don’t fancy answering questions about it, I know some people like to ask!

#8 Owls

Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:51 PM

I have a cookie bite loss - that is I can hear low and high frequencies but have a big loss in the middle. This is a big problem as this is where conversation falls.

I lost it quite suddenly at age 31 (now 44) - I had pre-eclampsia with my first birth and was not treated early enough. I was diagnosed within a few months of her birth but stayed in denial for nearly 3 years until I finally got hearing aids.

Hearing aids, while not the same as 'regular' hearing make a profound difference. They mean I can work, socialise, sing, perform in musicals and just function on an every day level. It's still hard, and my brain gets tired from paying attention more than the average person but there is no way ever I would be without them.

Having worn glasses, been very overweight then back to reasonable, put up with needing a Cpap etc, this is just one more thing that I've had to get used to and I see them as a medical device I use to go about my day. I couldn't care less what people might think, and in fact make a point of making sure my colleagues and friends are aware of my hearing aids - makes things much easier. Really, it's surprised me how many people actually haven't noticed my hearing aids as I chose the most waterproof which means they are bigger and more obvious.

Get hearing aids is my 2c - no different to glasses or any other medical thing needed to make your life more functional.

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