Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Can't Hear You Now

There's no pretending I didn't see it coming. In fact, last week I purchased wireless television headphones that allow me to actually hear what they're saying on the TV. Today I found out why they help so much.

It's been eighteen months since my last hearing test. I thought it had only been a year. I was off by six months. In that time, my hearing in the middle to higher frequencies has decreased by 30% in the right ear, and 20% in the left ear. It's nerve loss, which means it's normal loss from aging. Cool. I didn't know I was doing that. I don't feel older than I did eighteen months ago. In fact, I feel healthier than I did. Oh, well.

As the doctor explained, that type of hearing loss means that when you turn up the television, you also turn up the lower frequencies, which you can already hear very well. They drown out the voices, so you still can't hear them, no matter how high you turn up the volume. That's why I still couldn't understand what they were saying no matter how often I rewound the DVR.

Regular hearing aids won't help. I'll need programmable hearing aids that allow the audiologist to adjust the volume on only the frequencies I've lost. They're expensive. Time to start saving. (Send donations to the Mama Wants to Hear You Fund at

We're still going to Europe. We'll just ask the kids to talk loud. After all, John won't wear his hearing aids, so even if I had a set, one of us would still be saying, "Huh?" The worst problem is in church. I wonder if I could get them to go wireless and take the TV headphones with me... I could always ask, I suppose.

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