I went for a hearing test just before my 50th at Boots and was told that my hearing was a little below what they would consider normal/age-related, that I could not hear the ends of words properly and that my tinnitus could be looked at. I have never heard pure silence for as long as I can remember, so the high pitched sounds of tinnitus at what silence sounds to me, thus I am used to is, but it does do my head in when it gets really loud and drowns out talking or competes with it.
If you have never been in an acoustic room, it is bazaar indeed. When I walked in it physically felt different and as the room seems to have a deadweight feel about it, it is quite the sensation, or lack of sound to be exact. I could hear the air conditioning, the girl moving her foot on the floor like it was all next to my ears, as I said, a very odd sensation.
I was put through lots of questions on what I had difficulty hearing, what I found comfortable and uncomfortable, what I miss in conversations and what sounds if any give me discomfort, and if any of the things we talked about bothered me and what scale it was. All in all, I was not concerned about my hearing, but it did bother me slightly when I missed conversations, but I explained that I do lipread so when I struggle I use this technique. One of the things we discussed was my facial trauma when I was 17 (face smashed in), and that this could be the route of the tinnitus, however, if I could not remember hearing properly prior to this we will never know.
I did sounds tests, speech tests and one that the tiny speaker sat on the bone behind my ear. The conclusion was that my hearing is fine apart from a tiny loss in my left ear in the higher frequencies, which she said was within normal parameters. She did say that we all have different levels of volume that we feel is “right” for us and exampled this with her and her sister, she preferred the TV on quietly which was perfect for her, but her sister liked it loud which she, in turn, found too loud and uncomfortable, but assured me that her sister had perfect hearing. My tinnitus needs to be worked on, and she gave me papers on this and advised using brown noise and nature sounds when in a quiet room as this will stop the “ringing” being overbearing as the nature sounds etc will take away the focus from it. Another example she gave was that we are “hunter-gatherers” and as such when things go quiet our ears go into overdrive listening for predators, and when in the dark there is no stimulus to the eyes, so hearing is even more aware. This all made sense when she explained it as at night when trying to fall asleep the “ringing” seems to be mega loud and kept me awake. Funny enough when I went to bed I told my Echo Show to wake me up at a certain time and she asked if I wanted relaxing sounds, which was white noise with bird sounds in the background, and hey presto, I did not notice my inner noise, so top marks to Alexa for that.
The speech test as odd and the person speaking was an American lady and I had to repeat what she said. I could hardly get the last ones, but did manage to pick out some words, so did better that a lot of people. Great stuff!
Although she said that hearing aids could improve clarity, she did not feel it necessary, which I could not agree more with. I do not feel I need hearing aids at all, I just need to start concentrating when people are talking to me and stop zoning out, as this cold be my problem.
So, what more can I say but great results, I’m not deaf or hard of hearing, just switching off LOL.