I’m 59 and earlier this summer, I got an email from my primary care practice with a series of “you might want to get your hearing checked if . . .” prompts. I went through this answering “yes” to “listening is hard on the phone, can’t hear clearly in noisy settings or when more than one person is talking, can miss dialogue on tv shows.” I’d had a hearing test 15 years ago because I was having trouble hearing on the phone at work. That test showed nothing out of the ordinary, so I was told then that I likely had an auditory processing problem and there wasn’t anything to do about that. Fast forward to the email from my primary care practice and follow up appointment with a local audiologist. Based on what seemed like a really thorough test, the audiologist is recommending hearing aids. In addition to “mild sensorineural hearing loss from 2000Hz to 4000Hz, my OAEs “are consistent with abnormal outer hair cell function.” There is also mild Signal-to-Noise Ration (SNR) loss “indicating difficulty with speech understanding in noisy environments.” Based on the audiologist recommendation of hearing aids I’m getting a second opinion from an ENT in early September. This is all a lot to take in and of course the hearing aids are expensive - which is fine as long as I really need them. It’s weird. I never listened to loud music or went to rock concerts. Except for when I interact with people, I feel like I have great hearing - to the point that some sounds are really loud for me and not for people around me. I do need to see someone’s face to hear clearly. What’s particularly whacky is I’ll go for awhile and everything seems fine. Then I start thinking hearing aids are a crazy idea until I have an interaction with someone and can’t make out what they are saying and have to ask them to repeat what they said and then guess and hope I got it right. (There must be a magic number of times one asks someone to repeat themselves - I know I get embarrased after the second request.) Anyhow, this is all new to me and for my wife as well, so any words of wisdom or advice or stories of navigating this experience or questions to ask the ENT in September would be welcome. Many thanks!