Living with hearing loss for a period of time caused me to forget all of the sounds that I had once taken for granted. When I purchased my hearing aids, my expectations were low. I wanted to hear the doorbell, and I wanted to clearly hear car horns and traffic noises. I did not dare hope to hear anything more than that, because I did not want to be disappointed. Putting my hearing aids into my ear canals changed my life instantly. Not only could I hear forgotten sounds, but I also experienced profound changes beyond the sounds.
As I left the office, hearing aids firmly in my ears, I heard a strange clicking sound. After several clicks, I realized it was another woman’s heels hitting the office tile as she walked. I heard shoes hitting the ground. I soon realized that Colorado has crickets- I had lived for years without hearing crickets chirping outside. I heard the voices of my children from other rooms, and I did not have to see their lips move to understand what they were saying. I heard noises behind me. The TV no longer had to be uncomfortably blaring- I could hear it at the same level that my family liked to listen to it.
I found that my dread of restaurants and gatherings disappeared. I could go into a crowded event and hear what the speaker was saying. I no longer felt awkward or embarrassed in a loud restaurant because my hearing aids were programmed to pick up on the voices closest to me. Instead of finding reasons to avoid group functions, I remembered that I actually enjoyed them.
My energy levels went up after I started wearing my hearing aids. As strange as that sounds, living in a hearing world with hearing impairment can be exhausting. Trying to be “present” while I was working or interacting with others often required more concentration while struggling with hearing loss. Making it through a normal day resulted in something called “cognitive overload,” leaving precious little energy at the end of the day. With my hearing corrected, I spent less time on concentrating on trying to hear, and more time on the important priorities.
Work improved. I no longer found myself straining to hear what others were saying throughout the day. Meetings were not something to dread- I found that I could both hear my co-workers and contribute, without fear of embarrassing myself. I felt more comfortable with everything in the workplace- no more missed cues, unheard phone calls, or miscommunications. Even my confidence at work improved- I was spending less time trying to simply hear what was going on around me, and more time excelling at my job.
My relationships improved dramatically when my hearing was corrected. Hearing loss took a toll on the people around me, even though we didn’t realize it. They got frustrated and tired of having to repeat themselves, and I became equally frustrated with asking them to say things over and over. They often thought I was ignoring them. I thought they were always irritated. Being able to hear conversations, whispers, and all of the everyday interactions that I had been missing- this has probably been the most important way that hearing aids have improved my life.
Even minor hearing loss can have a major impact on your quality of life. The chirping of a cricket, honking of a horn, or the giggle of your little one- these are all sounds that enrich your everyday life. If you think that you might have hearing loss, take our one-minute quiz. Then, contact us so that we can help you live the fullest life possible, without missing a single moment!