Living with hearing loss is like solving a mystery

What frustrates me isn’t my hearing loss, and make lack of hearing everything and understand what is being said to me, it is the lack of others even my own family to understand what it is like to have a hearing loss. Having a hearing loss and wearing hearing aids isn’t like needing glasses to see and to read. Glasses do a great job of improving your life and allowing you to read, what TV and get on with your life. Hearing aids do help you to hear things louder, and with modern Technology hearing aids do a lot better in allowing you to understand speech. But hearing aids can never give you normal hearing the way that glasses can give you back “normal” sight. The issue is we all hear differently, and have a different meaning for normal sounds like, it is just the way God wired us. I just wish at times that others could hear what I hear, so that maybe they could understand what it is like to be me.
I wish people were more understanding when I tell them that I did not hear them, or that I did hear something from them but did not understand it, or even know they were speaking to me. I spend all of my time when I am around others just trying to decipher what is being said, it is like getting a message in that is encrypted and I have to decipher it in real time. I do not know of any other way to explain how I understand speech.
I hear people talking and I pick up on some of the words, and I have to feel in the blanks with my best guess. For me I do not hear consonants the way a normal hearing person does, I have to guess at most of the words. I use to love a good mystery, and now days everyday that I have to figure out what people our saying is solving a mystery.


I could not have said it better. When I ask people to repeat what they said, they go from their low volume to shouting at me, which all I really wanted was for them to just raise their voice , not shout.
I can think of at least a dozen friends and family members that have voices that must hit my frequency dead zones. Even with my HAs I really have a hard time hearing what they say. And my grandchildren speak so fast I again have a hard time keeping up with them LOL.


Yes, understanding can be tough. Often when someone is talking to me I can understand something like 8 out of 9 words, but that one word escapes me and I don’t get what they are saying. So if I say “Huh”, I get a repeat of the whole sentence and often don’t understand the second time.

Many people will speak with their hand near their mouth which muffles their speech making it more difficult to understand. And the younger folk do seem to speak so rapidly that I can’t comprehend them. Often when my granddaughter asks me a question I have to ask her to repeat it and speak more slowly.

If only they could switch hearing with us for a little while there would be better understanding of our disability.


It’s a handicap that people think is okay to make fun of. It’s a disability where people think it’s OK to make rude remarks or gestures behind you back. And it’s an unfortunate situation where people think your inability hear is nothing more than an inconvenience to them and who cares that you deal with it 24/7. And people don’t understand that while you’re struggling to hear and understand their negative remarks are hurtful and damages the individuals self confidence. I wish I could tell you something differently but I’ve had people say right to my face how my hearing problem is a royal pain in the ass to them. Sometimes people can really suck. But once in a while you run into that problem who understands how much you are struggling and tries to help and be supportive. Cherish the moments.


I have had one tell me that my hearing loss was a royal pain for them and I said well I got this hearing loss, protecting your butt so you have the right to free speech, the person turn beet red and walked off.


cvkemp you’ve said it perfectly. Perfectly.

The irony is that the only people who truly understand what you said are the people to whom understanding speech is the mystery / puzzle to which you refer - i.e. people like us on this forum.

Normal-hearing people could read what you wrote, which is so clear and succinct to us, and not have the beginning of a clue what you meant.

There is humor in that.

I avoid situations in which I’m forced to deal with people face-to-face. Easier now, retired, than was when working.

There is some comfort in the notion that the vast bulk of what is said, (that we miss), is nonsense (how’s that for self-censorship!) and no great loss. If it is worth knowing it can be written down and read; even with cell phones, texting is (I think) becoming more prevalent than voice telephony.

Hang in there. If you can laugh you are ahead of the game.


I spend 8 hours a week on the Veterans suicide provention phones, and text now. I also volunteer at the VA clinic helping veterans that are getting hearing aids, either the first time or having a hard time with their hearing aids. I mostly help them understand how to explain their needs to their Audis. I sometime come home take my hearing aids off and just cry with my head hurting and being so tired from fighting to understand what is being said, because the more I understand the better I can help.


You are a decent human being who wishes to help others and make things right, or as right as they can be made. I cannot advise you to become a cold-hearted SOB like me, but it does make Life hurt less.


Well if they shouted at you at least they tried. It’s better than the infamous ‘nevermind’.


I agree totally with you and you said it so well cvkemp. It’s like trying to figure out a song played on a piano with some keys missing. It’s like your entire life is one big Wheel of Fortune game I’m always gathering clues, piecing together clues from audio, lip reading, captions, context. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle where you look for the edge pieces, colors, photo on the box, shapes, etc to find the right piece, so tiring to do this all day!


I know what your saying its really hard and so frustrating. I’ve been in tears many times.
I think I tried every brand hearing aid out there and nothing works


I have been using Oticon for the last 10 years. I am not sure there are better aids out there for me but I am willing to try. Oticon as done a reasonably good job for me, but my Audi cannot get my aids to come to my full prescription, so I will be able to get new aids this summer so I am looking around and researching the different aids.


One of my frustrations is when, ironically, I’m not speaking as loudly as I think I am. The other person doesn’t understand what I said, but instead of asking me to speak up–or something like that–they make some smart assed comment. (I’m thinking of one particular person right now.) Puts me in a frame of mind that I’d just as soon quit talking altogether.


Please foregive me for my comment but I don’t like those comparisons:

You should at least be glad that your vision-loss is not as bad as your hearing loss. Your hearing loss is very deep. There are many people out there who can’t correct their vision-loss with glasses like HAs do for (their) light hearing-losses. The advantage for vision-loss is that it is way not as much important in out society as good hearing and inteligibility is.

I am nearly deaf and my vision is very bad, too. There is the possibility to switch to a CI and I will do this step next week. What options do I have for my vision-loss à la RP?

Yes of course, the rest of your posts is absolutely correct. Being in face-to-face conversations there is not much sympathy for those like us with hearing disability. Whereas being on the phone or at the bar it is irrelevant if one has a good vision. People don’t like to repeat what they were talking about. People don’t like to repeat what they were talking about. They will try to not to meet me again. If I can’t see the latest photos of their grandchildren then they don’t bother. They will show me their photographs again the next time we meet.
Not to understand what is being told is very frustrating.


Google the poem “You have to be deaf to understand.” It sums up the deaf/hh experience very well yet most hearing people read it and still don’t get it.

I am fortunate to be married to a hearing woman who does get it. She has said she will never understand what it is like to be deaf yet tried to see the world from my perspective. She is flexible in our communication methods - sign, speech, text, write, gesture - and checks that I understood. There are a few gems out there, just wish we encountered more of them.


My eye sight isn’t that good either and the world is closing in in me too. I was using what I believe that most can understand. My wife is very bad about saying you have hearing aids why can’t you hear?

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Thank you for clarification. I didn’t know about that.
I am sorry for you that your wife does not understand that you can’t understand everything but that you at least can hear more than without your hearing aids.

My wife knows and understands that I can’t follow conversations even with hearing aids in. But on the other hand she repeatedly starts conversations without grapping my attention first so most of the time I miss the important parts. And she repeatedly starts talking to herself and graps my attention by this way although she hasn’t planned to say anything to me. My brain always is rotating because I can’t do anything else besides listening. When reading a book, etc. I even have to reread a few sentence of what I already read until she has started to talk. This is very frustrating when this happens a couple of times each day.


I’ve been wearing glasses wayyy longer than hearing aids–script keeps changing as I get older. It does make me wonder why they call them “corrective” lenses. :face_with_monocle:


This is so true.
As the hearing loss gets worse it takes more and more effort to understand speech. It literally takes all energy to get what people are saying to you. We have to stop what we are doing to put 100% effort into listening to understand.
Listening and talking is easy for people with good hearing or not so bad hearing loss. These people have a difficult time understanding what we hard of hearing people are going through to share conversations. It takes a special spouse to deal with their HOH spouse.


You’re lucky, man!

If I don’t remember she has said - my memory is like a sieve.
If she doesn’t remember I have said - I just didn’t say it…

(btw this is what a good friend told me - she has the same disabilities like me)