My personal story

Hello to everyone,
I’ve been reading this forum for quite so long and decided to share my story with hearing loss. I have sensorineural hearing loss, clasiccal ski-slope, average is approx. btw. 40-42 db in both ears in 4 main speech frequencies. I hope you can see my audiogram in my profile. I’ve been using mini-RITE hearing aids since 2019 (oticon OPN 1), until then I didn’t wear them due to lack of knowledge and not knowing better.
I’ve been born and raised in one of post-communist countries in Europe, and had the same hearing loss since I was 1 year old (head trauma was the main cause of the hearing loss). When I was pre-school child (85-90), I used to go to speech and listening therapy but was never considered to wear hearing aid because, as they said, my hearing was good enough to follow along in school. The only thing they said to me about my hearing was that speech frequencies were ok enoughh and that I wouldn’t be able to hear birds singing. Basically, my WRS was good and I could follow along in school, but the problem was other listening evironments which caused me headache.
But the biggest problem was that I didn’know better because my hearing was like this since I was a baby. Nobody explained to me how normal hearing should be like in conversations and what I’am missing. My parents also didn’t know much about it and they were just listening to audiologists who didn’t think my hearing loss would be good for hearing aids.
In the mean time, here in my country, things have changed with regards to who can be candiate for hearing aids, and now toddlers with my level of hearing are presrcribed to wear hearing aid from day one.
Since I started wearing hearing aids not before 2019, you can imagine that it was bigchange for me in terms of new sounds and better speech understanding. Of course it would be much better if I have worn them from beginning as todler.

Having said all of that - what is it like NOW and BEFORE in USA with regards to who is apropriate candidate for hearing aids ?

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Do you feel now, HAs help you despite not wearing them your whole life?

Here in the UK, people with more milder hearing losses, aren’t being prescribed HAs these days on our NHS or if they are, it’s only 1 x HA rather then 2 x HAs.

I have not shared my full story yet but I wanted to respond to this. you may have missed on richness of sound all those years but your hearing today is probably in better shape then it would have been had you been prescribed hearing aid at that age.

I was diagnosed in 1994 when i was 12. I had mild hearing loss then but I found audiologist always overamplified for me and today I am at severe to profound hearing loss. I tried many audiologists, I haven’t seen one audiologist who is hearing impaired themselves. Many just want to set you up with default settings based on pure tones. As soon as i step out of their room, I found it was too loud in many settings.

Earlier years I was able to tolerate because my loss was mild but now my hearing is super sensitive to even little implication because I have little range remaining.

I totally agree with your statement about audiologist who is not hearing impaired they just set up the devices and don’t listen to you. I had the same issue in the past. Now I am a licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist and that is the first thing I do with my patients is listen to them and together we are a team to make the hearing aids be the best they can be to help my patients hear; they may not be perfect like normal hearing but my patients walk out happy, and they feel like I understand because I wear hearing aids myself.

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