Did you ever have a hearing aid party? My family and I recently did. My hearing aid had died so I had no hearing aid on the left side for two days. It was not fun for me or for my family. I suffered through dizziness, that lopsided feeling of only hearing on one side, and crazy ringing in the ear. My family helped out by speaking loudly (even more than they usually do!), rearranging the seating at the dinner table so my better ear was toward the conversation, and tolerating the TV at a higher than normal volume. I might have been acting a little bit grouchy too. Maybe. In short, it was hard on everybody.
Luckily, after two days, I had a new hearing aid in hand. The moment I put it in, I felt such relief. I could hear! And the incessant ringing in my ears was down to a manageable level. I must have looked so joyous because my children starting doing a happy dance and chanting, “Mommy can hear! Mommy can hear!” which made us all laugh. I guess we don’t take hearing for granted in this family!
It felt incredibly festive and we carried on to have a fun family dinner and evening together — it really felt like a party. We even cracked open a bottle of wine – on a Tuesday! The seating was back to normal and I think my family was as relieved as I was that they did not have to remember to speak even louder than usual. But the biggest change, so they tell me, was that the look of pain on my face was gone.
As anyone with tinnitus knows, the constant ringing in the ears can wear you down. I sometimes think it is worse than the hearing loss itself! When I don’t wear my hearing aids, I hear a loud ringing in my ears constantly. It is awful. Lucky for me, my hearing aids mask a large part of my tinnitus much of the time. That is one of the reasons I chose my Lyric hearing aids, because I can wear them 24/7, and even sleep in them. This keeps the ringing in my ears to a tolerable level most of the time.
I came away from this experience with a lot of gratitude for my hearing aids. While they do not help me hear perfectly (see more on this here) and I still struggle to hear in many situations when wearing them, life without them is much worse — for me, and also for my family. If you are considering giving hearing aids a try, take the plunge! You will not get perfection, but sometimes better can still be a big improvement.
Readers, do you ever celebrate your hearing aids?
This post first appeared on Restored Hearing.