Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hearing Loss

Having an ear infection for the last 2 weeks has given me a new view of hearing loss. My hearing has been gradually decreasing over the last 10 years anyway, but nothing like having both ears plugged. This is not something a hearing aide or tin horn will help. It will take more visits to doctors and possibly tubes. I'm now on my second course of antibiotics.

Human voices are a combination of sound frequencies. Some of the frequencies get past the fluid in my ears and some don't. That makes it very difficult to understand words. I have very little practice in reading lips. Background noise and multiple voices make it difficult to concentrate. By the end of my work day, I am exhausted just from trying to pay attention to and make sense of my surroundings.

Often, people's body language contradicts what they are saying and hand motions that don't match the words can be quite distracting.

Rules I've learned:
1) Be sure you have my attention.
2) Be sure I am facing you while you are talking. If you are behind me, I may not hear you.
3) Speak clearly and loudly. Don't over-exaggerate your words.
4) Please be patient. I am not being rude. I just want to understand.

I think every situation we encounter in life is an opportunity to learn. This is teaching me a lot!