Following my medical last week, I was referred to an Audiologist for a more formal assessment.
I have always had an inkling that my hearing was not what it should be. I thought perhaps that in one ear, I struggled with high frequencies. In the distant recesses of my memory, I do recall being carted off to a Deaf School in my very early years. They carried out a whole load of tests, and then sent me on my way. I was never given a hearing aid, but I was made aware that my hearing was sub standard….
Winding forwards forty years, and after an hour or so in the company of a very thorough Audiologist, it has been confirmed that my hearing loss is pretty severe.
Not just severe, but severe right in the middle of the zone of frequencies and amplitude where human speech sits. This should in theory make conversation with me more than a little bit difficult. All this came as a bit of a surprise to both of us, since prior to the hearing test we had a very nice chat….
It turns out that over the last forty years my brain has learned how to compensate. As far as I can gather this means my brain has been turning the slightly distorted sounds that arrive at my Auditory Nerve, back into recognisable words…A combination of lip reading and some very nifty background processing has facilitated a reasonable degree of hearing 🙂
So next week I am going back to the Audiologist to look at options. It looks like modern hearing aids are pretty high tech devices that boost signals only in the frequency ranges where hearing loss is measured. I guess this means it feels pretty natural.
I’m a little bit apprehensive about this for a number of reasons, and absolutely none of them are aesthetic. I’m thinking that I really don’t mind what they look like, I’m far more worried about the fidelity of the sound reproduction. How will it sound whilst I am listening to everything from Albinoni to Zeppelin. From what I have seen on the various graphs and charts today, it could be that I have never heard them properly….