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I got hearing aids at 30, and I love them. I have moderate to severe high frequency loss, because of noise exposure and a flu which damaged my hearing. I'm not vain about them, but it would be fine if I were, because people can scarcely see them, even though they're the behind-the-ear style. They're black and silver, and I painted small stars on them, for the fun of it.

I can now hear music quite richly, and I understand speech in a way that had been impossible since age 16. High frequency loss means losing comprehension of consonants, which is why people sound mumbly. Before hearing aids, there were loads of people I could not stand to socialize with, because they don't enunciate well enough for lip-reading, and their speech was in a range that was impossible for me to understand. I'm much more engaged in social situations now, and have a much better time at work conferences. I also startle much less often.

A special bonus, which I had never considered prior to getting them, is that at the end of the day I take them out, and the world sounds so gorgeously quiet and peaceful, it's like going on a retreat in my own home.

Hi,
I am writing to share some information. You are too young for that type of hearing loss and vision issues. Have you considered having some genetic testing done to see if you might get to the cause? My daughter has Ushers. It could help you will treatment. Best, Lynne

I've started to notice that I mis-hear people more frequently--even when listening to the radio with professional announcers who enunciate clearly! At the same time I am becoming less and less tolerant of loud noise. Your commenter Rachel is making a great case for hearing aids and you are making me think more seriously about getting my hearing tested.

So sorry for your hearing! it can make some social situations so much more complicated. In my (reverse) situation, it is a group of friends who go out for dinner. The guy with the specific frequency hearing loss simply cannot hear my voice. When a male friend repeats what i say, different frequency, he can hear just fine. While I understand the mechanics, it makes me feel invisible too, and i simply avoid speaking with him when there is any background noise at all.
Good luck with figuring out what is best for you. Not for sissies indeed.

Funny, I got a report just yesterday saying that my back pain is probably caused by age as well!! Seriously!! Am also going for an MRI, I think, must still go see the neurosurgeon. I also have problems with hearing people, especially if there is any background noise, but it has always been like that.

On another note, strangest thing, I dreamt that I bumped into you and your sister on the beach last night. You introduced me to her and I said I feel like I know her from reading her blog. Odd.

I have a voice that some people just can't hear. My father in law doesn't even turn his head when I speak to him, even when I try to be extra loud. And I can never make myself heard in noisy restaurants. It's hard to make new friends in social settings. I must share a frequency with background noise! I second the vote for hearing aids. Otherwise you'll never get to know awesome people like me who happen to have mumbly voices! :)

Well that stinks. I'm sorry about your hearing loss. It's quite an interesting story though, and good fortune that you noticed the problem early on. Best wishes to you :)
Nikki

Oh, I am with you! I am 41, and was just diagnosed with moderate osteoarthritis--arthritis!!!!!-- in both hips (although only the left one hurts, strangely enough...) My doctor ruled out a hip replacement right now because I'm "too young," but that leaves me with two options: cortisone shots, or grin and bear it. Ugh.

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I'm going to second the comments about please get a hearing aid. I work with a lot of older men and the ones who have hearing aids (and they are so tiny these days they are nearly invisible) are engaged at meetings. They participate. They also therefore seem more alive and younger. The ones who can't hear....well, the opposite. I
think it is a vanity issue, but really not being able to hear makes you seem older than you are!

I wear hearing aids and the difference they make is profound. In visual terms - the difference between a fuzzy black and white tv, and a large screen high tech TV. Once you have them you realise just how much you have missed out on!

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