As a result of hearing loss that I’ve developed over the years, there are a few things missing from my world that are likely present in yours. What are they?
First, here’s what do I have that you do not: A loud, high-pitch ringing that is unceasing. I hear it 24 hours a day, without end. I have pretty close to state-of-the-art hearing aids to compensate for this. They’re made by Siemens, go inside my ears. Most people don’t notice them, which is exactly how I like it.
Next year, I’ll probably move to Bluetooth ones that will let me talk on the phone and hear my iPod without plugging myself in. That, I’m guessing, will be totally awesome.
Anyway, one of the things that people don’t recognize is that I can hear quite well almost 90% of the sounds around me. I can hear most frequencies fine, but here’s the real concern: the frequencies I have lost are the most subtle ones in human speech.
You may never have realized that there is very little difference to the human ear between cat and hat, but I do. All the differences between C and H are around the frequency I don’t have. So I confuse words a lot.
I compensate for this with context. A cat doesn’t go on your head; a hat does. Context is deeply important to me because it helps me make sense of what’s being said to me every day. Environmental noise like the ones that happen in bars, on the street, or in restaurants can be exhausting, because I need to concentrate to hear properly.
Another thing that I miss out on is stuff like birds, crickets, or other natural sounds. Those things, I really miss. There’s a lot of subtlety that I don’t catch because of the way I hear. Maybe one day technology will help me out with getting all this stuff back; might be a while, but it’ll be worth it.
Not sure why I decided to write about this today, but I never have before, so it’s kind of refreshing. Sometimes it’s interesting to look at life from someone else’s point of view. Maybe you learned something. Anyway, see you next time.
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