Monday, March 28, 2011

Hearing aids continued

I was talking about my hearing loss theories with another family member, and she had some good insights. As mentioned in my last post, I think people don't get hearing aids as often as they buy glasses because:
1) it's way more expensive,
2) the loss is gradual and they adapt to a quieter world, or
3) they don't know what they can't hear.

She thought the big reason might be #3. She knows her hearing isn't good (too many childhood infections in one ear), and she related a recent experience. She went to a movie and sat with her husband in the back of the theater because that's where he likes to sit. Then, she went to the same movie with someone else and sat in the middle. She was amazed at the things she could hear that she had missed the first time. Nothing like good anecdotal evidence to validate my theory.

On a new, but somewhat related subject. Is anyone else bothered by television shows where the dialog is difficult to hear, but the commercials blast you out of your chair?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Glasses or hearing aids?

I have a question. Maybe others can help me understand.

When someone's eyesight changes, especially because of age, people are quick to seek help. They buy glasses, or contacts, or have surgery to restore their vision.

When someone's hearing changes, they are much more hesitant to do anything about it. I have a couple of theories. Hearing aids are much more expensive than glasses, so cost is definitely a factor. But my best theory is that people don't notice their loss at first and gradually adjust to a quieter world. Then, when they finally decide that they need help, the hearing aids restore the noise and it seems too loud. It's uncomfortable. Maybe another consideration is that we know when we can't see something, but we don't know about the things we can't hear.

When a family member and I were talking about vision and hearing loss one day, we pondered which was worse. Her pragmatic choice was hearing loss was worse, because if someone couldn't see, others would be quick to help. If someone couldn't hear, others would just find it annoying. Think about it.

I remember hearing that Helen Keller was asked a similar question. Her response was that being blind separated people from things; being deaf separated people from people.

I've been near-sighted almost forever, but I have contacts and glasses. If I should begin to lose my hearing (which is still excellent--bionic according to my hubby), I'm heading right for a hearing aid. I don't want to miss a thing.