As a little girl I took yearly hearing tests during the school year. Every year I was told that I had very acute hearing. I was never told to avoid loud noises or to protect my hearing in any way.
As a teenager I discovered loud music and headphones. I needed to listen to music using the headphones so that I would not disturb my family as they slept. I would sit up most of the night smoking pot and BLASTING the music into my ears. Then I discovered live music. Sitting up front was the best and the loudest. It had to be loud to be good! Throughout my school years I continued receiving hearing tests and I continued to pass them with flying colors. Still no warnings about my habit of listening to extremely loud music.
I had a baby, got a divorce, married a musician and continued on my with my love of loud music. My daughter would fall asleep in front of the amplifiers during my husband's band practice. I honestly never gave it a second thought. I had no clue that all of this could be damaging not only my hearing but my child's hearing as well.
Fast forward 20 years, I began to notice that I didn't always catch what people were saying. The TV volume was a little louder than normal. I also began to notice that I had more difficulty hearing if there was a lot of background noise. I tried very hard to ignore it. I didn't want to admit to myself or anyone else that I may be suffering from hearing loss.
With the television volume up to its highest setting (50) and my registering the fact that my daughter was speaking to me, or missing phone calls because I can't hear the ringer. My daughter finally
forced me gently persuaded me to take a hearing test. We went to our local Sam's Club and I did a free screening that took approximately a half hour. The screening shows that I have moderate hearing loss in both ears and they want me to schedule a time for more in depth testing. Even though the testing is free I have not scheduled it yet. I don't have health insurance. If the test shows that I need hearing aids (and I am pretty sure that it will) I don't currently have a way to pay for them. I am hoping this will change in the next year. It is embarrassing asking people to constantly repeat themselves because you can't hear them. I want to hear them!
If you or someone you love suffers from hearing loss, check out these resources from ASHA.
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in a campaign by BOOMboxNetwork.com on behalf ASHA.org and received payment for my participation. All opinions stated within are my own.”