Hearing Loss – A Personal Perspective
By Bart Astor
I recall many years ago writing an article about getting a hearing test. I guess I was about 50 or so. I made an appointment with an audiologist so I could go through the actual experience.
I’m sure somewhere along the lines you’ve had one of these tests. You know, “Press this button when you hear a tone.” I remember feeling so incredibly anxious for this test. I jumped on the button the second I heard anything through my headphones. I not only wanted to pass the test, I wanted to ace it! How weird is that?
Turns out, it’s not weird at all.
The audiologist told me, “Relax, this isn’t like Jeopardy. You don’t get points for doing it first. And you don’t get graded by how quickly you respond.”
Apparently a lot of us, when we are getting our hearing tested, get nervous.
We don’t want to feel old, and we know that a loss of hearing is a sign of aging. Well, certainly it is. But it’s also not. And given that most of us have spent countless years with music blasting in our ears, especially more recently with the very prevalent use of earbuds, it’s a wonder we’re not all deaf.
So I wrote up the article and included all that stuff about my anxiety and wanting to be the first to press the button. When I sent it to the editor, she wrote back, “This is good, but I don’t think we need to put in all that personal feeling about anxiety.” She didn’t get it.
I learned later that she was pretty young, in her 20’s or 30’s. Of course she didn’t get it. She had no idea that she would age. But I bet most of you who are reading this do get it. You understand that a loss of hearing is not anything like losing some of your vision. Many people need glasses and there’s no stigma attached to that. Even young people need vision correction. But hearing aids? That’s strictly for old people, right?
I’m a bit older now and had another hearing test because I was experiencing vertigo. A symptom to be concerned about when you have vertigo is some loss of hearing. It could mean a serious issue. When I took the test, I was nervous. But not about feeling or being labeled old. This time, it was about whether there was any loss of hearing and if so, whether it meant I could have a problem. And I didn’t jump to press the button the split second I heard a tone.
This blog post originally appeared on www.bartastor.com and was reprinted with permission.
Other Related Posts;
- Aging: Preparing For Both Quantity and Quality of Life
- Brain Health: Listening to Music is Good But Playing Music is Great!
- Healthcare Wearables: It’s Just The Beginning
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