Adjustment to late onset deafness

It was 35 years ago. My poor Mum did her best but schools weren't really child friendly places in those days. I've always known I'd end up going deaf. I'm not sad about it but it'll take some adjustment
 
When I joined this forum this morning, I was primarily looking for practical answers about available hearing aids etc. Because my hearing loss has been gradual over the years, even though I always knew I'd eventually lose a lot or all of my hearing, somehow joining this forum has put me in a position where I feel as though I'm sitting on a fence. I can relate to so much that people have written in different threads but there's also a lot which I can't relate to. I've never had to learn sign language. I've heard reasonably well for most of my life. I still hear reasonably well in one ear, even though there's a moderate hearing loss. I get by. On the other hand, I get by with a lot of extra focus and concentration. I live with roaring tinitus and have done since I was a kid. It's normal to me. I can't remember it ever being different. I separate myself during lunch breaks to avoid people realising I can't hear the conversations around me. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I'm so used to having things going on with my ears that I've never really considered myself as being hoh. I'm just me with my wierd ears. I always just got on with things and adapted. At which point do I say I'm hard of hearing or going deaf ? I tell my children to walk on my right side when we're shopping so that I can hear them. In my mind, because I can still hear through one ear, I'm only half deaf. Does that all make sense or am I talking nonsense ? Maybe I've reached a point now where hearing loss has become more of a reality than just something I'll take seriously in the future.
 
I hope you won't let having a hearing loss be your entire identity. Everyone is multi-dimensional, and should not allow themselves to be a label. OTOH, I just got my hair restyled, short on the sides, and the usual 2.5 inches on top. Now I get to show off my fuchsia HA's.
 
I hope you won't let having a hearing loss be your entire identity. Everyone is multi-dimensional, and should not allow themselves to be a label. OTOH, I just got my hair restyled, short on the sides, and the usual 2.5 inches on top. Now I get to show off my fuchsia HA's.
I hope you won't let having a hearing loss be your entire identity. Everyone is multi-dimensional, and should not allow themselves to be a label. OTOH, I just got my hair restyled, short on the sides, and the usual 2.5 inches on top. Now I get to show off my fuchsia HA's.
That's sort of what I was trying to say. I came to this site purely for practical answers and then it struck me that I've had to come to a deaf community site to search for answers concerning me. Because I've never really thought of myself as hoh, it feels out of place for me. Then I began to wonder whether officially, I would be considered hoh just because I need a hearing aid in one ear. I mean, if you need glasses, you're not officially blind. I'm just myself with some hearing issues. What worries me most is that others will label me or categorise me. I have no problem with having tricky ears. I've lived with my ears all my life and they don't change who I am. Others might label me out of a steriotypical ignorance. People at my work place for example won't understand that I can still do my job well and have difficulty following a conversation ( I'm a professional classical musician in an orchestra).
 
When they challenge you on that, ask them if they find it difficult to follow a Strauss piece when others are playing Rock and Jazz at the same time and volume. Hearing aids only approximate normal sound.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Wow. Well, I'm sorry. I'm in the wrong Forum, as most of you have said. There was some more to it, but to be called a liar and asked to leave... Please accept my apologies for whomever I've insulted, and please accept my forgiveness for those who I seem to have entertained. I should have known; it's a Forum. The Fish Forums are always the same way. Too many who drink and type, and too many others who just want to be hateful or argue. I'll leave you all in peace. Shalom.
I'm sorry that you feel that way. No one here was trying to be rude. However, what kind of response did you expect when you stated to a Deaf forum that you are disgusted by Deaf Culture? Warm fuzzies?

Respect in a forum is a two-way street.
 
I’m 49 hoh lost hearing 4 years ago slowly lost most of my friends and most resent lost my girlfriend of 30 years due to deafness I spend my days crying don’t know we’re to turn can’t afford not to work but struggling with my hearing loss
Don’t read lip or anything barely use the computer can’t talk on phone without blue tooth and that’s a struggle
#1 phone call for most but I have to go places in person when I can’t text . I used love be around people talk music lafter
So were can I go to hang with and have fun with people like me in Vancouver
 
Hi Timothy, I live in Europe, so I can't recommend a community or venue for you. I just wanted to say that I read your post and felt for you. What struck me is that you so eloquently put into words that when we have either partially lost our hearing or even lost all our hearing, we feel the loss of so much more than that. For myself, I'm trying to put another perspective on it. I'm a classical musician by profession and I've learnt to hear in another way, through vibration. When my hearing was better, my other senses were dull. Now I play more through feel and eye contact. In many ways, my playing has improved. I have to focus more and that makes work more fun. Socially, I totally agree. Rightly or wrongly, I felt humiliated every time I saw others get irritated or I just started avoiding group conversation. My new hearing aid has really helped there. What I try to do ( and my hearing loss is fortunately only severe in one ear ), is to not concentrate on what I wish I could get back but focus on finding ways to live happily with what I have. One of those things I'm planning to do, is to take evening classes in my second language. Now that I can hear my own voice with my new aid, I realise how unclearly I speak and can understand why others sometimes had difficulties understanding me. I'll feel less self concious. I don't wear my aid at home. I enjoy the calm without it. To think others have to deal with all that noise all the time makes me realise how lucky I am to be able to take a break from it. And I know I can have contact here. Adjusting isn't easy but we'll get there. This probably hasn't helped much but I do hope that someone here can help you find a new social circle of friends who care and understand what you're going through.
 
Hi Timothy, I live in Europe, so I can't recommend a community or venue for you. I just wanted to say that I read your post and felt for you. What struck me is that you so eloquently put into words that when we have either partially lost our hearing or even lost all our hearing, we feel the loss of so much more than that. For myself, I'm trying to put another perspective on it. I'm a classical musician by profession and I've learnt to hear in another way, through vibration. When my hearing was better, my other senses were dull. Now I play more through feel and eye contact. In many ways, my playing has improved. I have to focus more and that makes work more fun. Socially, I totally agree. Rightly or wrongly, I felt humiliated every time I saw others get irritated or I just started avoiding group conversation. My new hearing aid has really helped there. What I try to do ( and my hearing loss is fortunately only severe in one ear ), is to not concentrate on what I wish I could get back but focus on finding ways to live happily with what I have. One of those things I'm planning to do, is to take evening classes in my second language. Now that I can hear my own voice with my new aid, I realise how unclearly I speak and can understand why others sometimes had difficulties understanding me. I'll feel less self concious. I don't wear my aid at home. I enjoy the calm without it. To think others have to deal with all that noise all the time makes me realise how lucky I am to be able to take a break from it. And I know I can have contact here. Adjusting isn't easy but we'll get there. This probably hasn't helped much but I do hope that someone here can help you find a new social circle of friends who care and understand what you're going through.
I thank you but right now with all the stress my hearing still going down I’m ata point we’re aids are not working
And I just lost one person that I thought care don’t know about work how long I can go like this.
We’re I work not every body like a deaf guy. Silence
Honestly I understand my problem are small compared to most but when you can’t hear you have to do it one on one
Then try. To explain. I right now would be at peace if I could listen to music Or hear some one call your name
 
I thank you but right now with all the stress my hearing still going down I’m ata point we’re aids are not working
And I just lost one person that I thought care don’t know about work how long I can go like this.
We’re I work not every body like a deaf guy. Silence
Honestly I understand my problem are small compared to most but when you can’t hear you have to do it one on one
Then try. To explain. I right now would be at peace if I could listen to music Or hear some one call your name
You may want to start learning sign language to open up additional communication and social opportunities. In Canada, American Sign Language (ASL) and la Langue des Signes Quebecoise (LSQ) are used depending on which region you are in (English, French).

You can start learning ASL online for free using lifeprint.com which I think is accessible from Canada. If you can afford to take classes, Vancouver Community Colleges offers ASL classes.

You also may want to check out Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (http://www.widhh.com/) for additional resources as well as employment counseling should you need it.

Another resource is Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (http://chha-bc.org/). They offer support for both HH and Late Deafened people. They have a free library of materials that may provide some self-help guidance.
 
Hi Timothy, how are you ? It's good that Zephren could recommend so many lines of contact. I realise that our situations are quite different and my method of coping works for me but not necessarily for others. At home and amongst friends, I have a strong support group, though because of the nature of my work, I keep my medical issues with my hearing to myself. I feel resigned to losing my hearing because I've known for many years that I will eventually lose either most or all of my hearing. I know though, that amongst the majority of classical musicians, loss of any hearing means an inability to do ones job. I know that is untrue but it is still not something I wish to publicise to my colleagues. Right now, I just tell myself it's none of their business. As long as I'm doing my job properly, they have no reason to know. My Husband works with me and he will always say if the quality of my work is not good. Sometimes I get panic attacks and wish I could go back to how things were when I could hear better but that's not going to happen and I have to just pull myself up and get back on track. I'm so sorry you've lost your partner, especially now when you really need the support. Things will get better though. Such enormous change is devastating. It takes time to adjust and for life to get back on track. The help and support is out there but we need to find it. All the best. I'm thinking of you.
 
Hello,
I'm new to the forum. I want to say thank you for initiating this thread. I'm a 31 year old man, and next week I will finally be receiving hearing aides.
As a child, I can recall doing audiograms frequently. As an infant I suffered a fever that damaged my hearing. It was not enough to require special attention, and I learned to adapt to the capabilities.
For the past ten years I served in the US Navy as a deep sea diver. During those years I noticed my hearing deteriorating. I still had regular audiograms, and I'd constantly be told to wear hearing protection. I always protect my hearing around machinery, because the noise is damned painful. Even so, my capabilities are in decline.

I've been adapting my entire life, and it just gets more difficult. I reached a phase where it began to take a more serious toll on my mental health. Feelings of frustration, anxiety and fear that I never knew before. Being able to fully understand someone when speaking face to face, but then turn around and I miss pieces of information. What frustrates me the most, is that I must always concentrate to receive a message. My wife will speak to me, without first getting my attention, and she gets annoyed by having to repeat herself. When I am studying, I am constantly distracted by the sounds I hear. I always have to look up and assess my surroundings. My hearing is adequate in most face to face interactions, but if other noise is happening, I simply cannot discern the information. I also get frustrated because I can no longer whisper. Or at least, I forget to whisper. I tend to speak at a volume in which I can hear myself, and that is often too loud when my child is asleep. But I can barely hear myself whispering.

In the fall, I began to attend University to get my degree in adult education and learning sciences. I was unaware that most universities offer an introduction to sign language as a foreign language. I thought it could be useful in helping my wife and I communicate a bit. After one semester, what I realized is that I'm hooked. The fear and anxiety that I harbored for years as my hearing declined, well that's been put to ease quite a lot. I thought that learning sign language would be too hard. I had a lot of misconceptions, and I'm sure I still do. So I'm opening myself up to learning more. I've decided to attempt a double major, and get a degree in sign language interpreting. If becoming HOH or deaf is part of my future identity, then I'm going to be as good at it as I can be. I see this pathway as emersion with a purpose.

I want to be an adult educator, and I figure that I will not be successful if I continue to lose my hearing. Therefore I am preparing for a day when I may no longer be able to teach hearing students. I'm also very curious about adult learning for deaf adults. I have a lot of questions, because I want to learn from perspective not presumption. For instance, is it better to learn from an instructor who is signing the lesson, or is an interpreter able to deliver the lesson as effectively? My presumption is that an instructor who signs is better than requiring an interpreter. So many more questions.

I do not know if my hearing will continue to trend as it has, but I am sure that I want to make the most of my ability to hear to bridge gaps between deaf and hearing people in education and learn more about the culture of deaf people.
Thanks for reading,
-J
 
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