I had to finally face it. I’ve lost enough hearing in my left ear to require a hearing aid. And, it’s really not an age thing. I’ve had hearing problems in my left ear for years. Ask my friends – if they want me to hear them, they always stand or sit near my right ear.
I’ve been tested several times over the years. The first time I get tested, in my 40s, I went to the House Ear Institute. I was there almost all day, taking every test known at the time. When testing was complete, I found out that I had (guess what) hearing loss! No reason.
I went on with my life, hearing better in my right ear than my left. The great thing about not being able to hear so well out of my left ear was I got much better sleep, with nothing waking me up when I slept on my right ear (my left ear exposed.) It’s awesome. I think that might be why I have not done anything about it.
I got tested again in my 50s, and my doctor thought that part of it was a build up of ear wax he extracted from my ear. Eeww. Turns out I had some hearing loss in my left ear, not just ear wax build up. It sucks getting older.
I took a hearing test about 3 years ago. This time, my right ear was 100% able to hear and my left ear was 80% able to hear. Doctors told me if I wanted to get a hearing aid, I could, but my hearing loss was not acute enough to run out and get one right away. I looked into the possibility, but lost interest when I discovered how expensive they were.
The “light bulbs began going on” when, at social gatherings or client meetings, the people who didn’t know that I was left-ear hearing impaired were somewhat put off when they asked me a question and I didn’t answer or even acknowledge them. My friends at my right ear had to tap me on my arm to let me know the person at my left ear was talking to me. I did not hear them. At all. Shit.
The final straw came last week, when I was at a dinner party. My friend David, who knew I had a hard-of-hearing issue in my left ear, purposely sat next to me on my left. He thought it was funny that he could say whatever he wanted to me and about me and I did not hear a stitch of sound from him. Kinda freaked me out.
I started to research hearing aids. Turns out no matter which I buy, I have to buy A PAIR. I don’t get that. But I must say, I did not have the choices available to me 20 years ago as I do now. Most are so small, you can’t detect them in your ear. I can’t wait until I get them. Yes, I will be able to hear better, but I’m not telling my friend David. Next time he sits next to me I will have a surprise for him. And I will still take them out to sleep better!