Scared of what future holds

Does anyone worry about how much worse their hearing will get in the future? I have actually been sick at my stomach since my hearing test yesterday which showed I have went from mild to moderate hearing loss in 2008 to a severe loss in 2014.
It scares me to death that I won’t even be able to hear at all if this is how fast my hearing loss is progressing. The hearing aid specialist (HIS) that done my test said that it might just stay like this and not get worse but I don’t see how that is possible with the difference that has occurred in just 6 years.
I am so scared I won’t be able to hear at all in 10 years and I so want to be able to hear any grandchildren I hope to have one day.
Something else that scares me is I’ve read a lot about how people with hearing loss have a greater chance of dementia and just the though of that makes me sick. Has anyone else ever read anything about this or is just a myth which I pray it is.
My HIS says I shouldn’t worry about the future and just worry about now and that she could gain a 100 lbs and not be able to get around but the truth is she has control over that and I feel like I don’t have any control over my hearing loss.
Does anyone do anything that helps preserve what hearing they have left? Any herbs, vitamins, therapy, anything?
I do pray constantly about it. I feel like that is all I can do.
Thank everyone on here for all the replies to all my posts. I have so many questions and have no where but here to turn for the answers

what kind of job or activities have you done in those 6 years? did you wear hearing protection when called for? I may of missed it but your age? have you been to an ENT? HIS folks are great at configuring aids and testing but their medical speculation I would take lightly. if it dropped that much they should have told you to see an ENT. do you have the audio-grams you could post?

your best bet for preservation is too avoid loud noises or wear protection when you can’t.

I wander if the difference in the way I was tested could have anything to do with it. I am not really sure of the differences but maybe you or someone on here could tell me. The first test I had was in a booth with words I had to repeat with headphones on. The test I just had done was with inserted plug things in my ears and was only tones which I had to push a button when I heard them.
I know my hearing is bad but when I first take my hearing aids out after wearing them all day it is worse. After a little while it is better if that makes sense. Anyway, I had just removed them when I had the test done and it may just be that I think it is much worse and maybe it is what is to be expected.
The aids I have been wearing were adjusted by a HIS that I did not trust and I was constantly having to go back and have them readjusted for the entire 6 years that I wore them. I thought this was normal but now I’m thinking its not. I wander if the way she kept messing with them could have made my hearing worse and is there any chance that if I get aids that are programmed correctly that I could regain some of the damage she done by her bad programming. I know I ask a lot of questions but I just wander about this stuff and don’t know where else to go for the answers.
It is really strange though I think because if I just don’t put them in on the weekends and I stay around the house I can talk and mostly not completely but mostly hear what my family says to me. About the only time I REALLY have to wear them at home is if I am watching tv. Does this sound normal? I definitely know I need them but I’m just saying I can get by at home without them if that makes sense.
Thanks for any answers and opinions
Here is my latest audiogram as best as I can read it:
250 500 1000 2000 3000 4000 6000
L 60 60 50 60 55 55 45
R 60 60 65 75 75 65 65

You asked my age: I am 48 years old and have worn aids for 6 years. Starkey destiny CICs. I work in a somewhat loud environment but they do test it for loudness about once a month I think it is. Haven’t done anything else that would damage my hearing that I know of. Have not been to an ENT for a few years. I just felt like they would want to sell me their aids and I frankly just don’t know who to trust anymore.

wow, another A&A moment.

if you have access to a Mental Health clinic you may want to pay them a visit.

What does that mean? Are you being sarcastic or actually trying to answer my questions?

I work in a noisy environment where hearing protection is recommended but not required.
With my old analog hearing aids they had an on/off switch, I would turn them off while working. With my new hearing aids which don’t have an on/off switch, I had my audi program a mute setting so I wouldn’t be listening to all that noise while working. I wear BTE aids with un-vented ear mold which acts like ear plugs along with my hearing loss.

Some pretty good info in places like this:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/basics/definition/con-20027684

Before I would make any medical decisions, I would talk to an ENT as opposed to a hearing aid fitter. The number one piece of advice I see about hearing loss is to avoid loud noises.
I also mute my aids when I hit a loud place.
BTW: If your grandchildren are anything like mine were, you will hear them from a block away, even without aids. :smiley:

no, dead serious!
first repeating words is NOT a hearing test so you have no idea how much hearing you have actually lost since your first ‘test’.
not visiting an ENT is just crazy because of the reasons you stated particularly considering how upset you seem to be.
taking any type of medical advice from an HIS is really bad judgement. (or an AuD for that matter)
nobody should be as agitated, upset, depressed as you seem to be (btw, praying ain’t going to fix your problem)
if where you work has people come to test the sounds levels I’m pretty sure you should have been wearing hearing protection all these years.

read through some of these and educate yourself…


http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/hearing-aids/

momof2+dog,

I’m also super scared of what the future holds, and my hearing loss is still very close to what it was 20 years ago. I’m scared of ending up isolated, scared of ending up lonely. I’m 46, and the only answer anyone gives me, and I know that this is because it’s the only answer anyone has, is that I’ll get cochlear implants if my hearing gets bad enough. I worry that people won’t want to talk to me if it gets too frustrating for them. I worry that I won’t always have the money to set aside $1,000 a year for hearing aids.

The dementia issue scares me half to death. My grandfather had dementia, and hearing aids. The workers in his nursing home didn’t have the resources to keep finding his aids when he’d hide them, so he spent his last days demented and deaf. It isn’t clear to me what the dementia/hearing loss link is. Does having hearing loss cause the dementia? The blurbs that keep appearing in audiologists’ newsletters seem to suggest it’s if your hearing loss is untreated, but as hearing aids don’t restore normal hearing, just how close to normal hearing does your hearing need to be?

I’m sure there are lots of us scared to bits. I don’t know anyone my age with hearing loss, and I don’t have anyone to talk to about it. When I bring it up, I find people dismissive. They just don’t know what to say, and they don’t seem able to just say, “I’m really sad you’re scared.”

So, I’m really sad you’re scared. It’s completely, totally scary. Don’t let that keep you from seeing an ENT, though. I learned a long time ago that doctors are very hit or miss, and you just have to suck it up and keep trying until you find one that’s helpful.

Everything you are saying sounds just like me. My grandmother had hearing aids and a stroke and was in nursing home for 5 years and they never put her hearing aids in so who knows what she could actually understand and hear. She’s the only person in my family that had any hearing loss so not sure why I was the lucky one to get that trait.

I also worry that I will end up isolated and that people will get tired of trying to communicate with me if it gets too frustrating for them. I am only 48 and don’t feel like that is that old. I will admit that I am a totally different person than I was before my hearing loss. I used to be really social and had a lot of friends and not sure if its just happened gradually and I didn’t notice or what but I am pretty anti-social now. My kids don’t believe that I ever used to go out and do stuff with friends. They don’t know that me. I know I could still do stuff and I do sometimes but usually end up frustrated if I am in a loud environment and can’t really carry on a conversation.

I only know one person with hearing loss and they are almost ten years older than me and I don’t know him very well and I totally understand what you mean by not having anyone to talk to about it. My family will listen but they readily admit they can’t understand what its like and I pray they never have to. My husband can talk to my son from 3 rooms away and I won’t even hear my son say anything. So sad and frustrating.

I am going to call an ENT this next week and see if I can get an appt. to have my ears looked at and I guess get another hearing test. Not sure if I should tell them I just got one and that I am trialing a pair of new aids. Not sure how to handle that. I have a lot of fear about it all and am very willing to discuss it with you any time and I thank you for answering me and understanding what I’m talking about.

Sometimes I wish there was a support group in my area for HOH like there are for AA and other disorders or disabilities.

I have had a hearing loss in my left ear since I was ten. I am now in my 60s and the other ear also has hearing loss. So, I wear hearing aids and go on with my life. My mother was deaf as a post when she was in her 80s. Not much I can do about it, if that happens to me as well. Just go on with your life. See hearing aids for what they are, tools to help you hear. How cool is that! Hearing aids take a while to get used to. Not just learning how to hear again with the aids, but getting used to wearing them at all. In my case, both adjustments occurred over time and I don’t think a bit about either issue anymore. Enjoy life and marvel at how neat the technology is that can put this technology to work for you!

momof2+dog;

Yes, yes, yes! I suspect that most people who have hearing loss have at one time or another worried about what the future holds in terms of their hearing. I certainly have since I got my first HA last September. I’m “young”, too- 41 now, but 40 when I got my HA. There’s nobody in my immediate circle (friends, family, previous employer, church) under the age of 65 who wears a hearing aid. Of course, there could be someone with a CIC/IIC/RIC hearing aid who’s younger than me and I’d never really know. Still, it is disconcerting to be the only one in your social group who has a “noticeable” hearing impairment. (“Noticeable” is in quotes because most people had no idea I had any amount of hearing loss…so it’s obviously not all that noticeable yet!) I also have young children, two toddlers, and as you can probably imagine, my age and stage don’t tend to fit with other parents of young children, so I feel like if someone actually noticed my hearing aid, that would set me apart even more, as in, now I’m not just “the older mom”, but rather “the older hearing impaired mom”. However, the reality I’ve experienced so far is that nobody really cares… The very few people who have actually noticed my HA since I got it last fall haven’t even batted an eyelash, except to say something to the effect of “I didn’t know you had a hearing aid.” Then they moved on.

Yes, I worry about my hearing getting worse. I, too, worry that one day in the future, it may become difficult to hold a conversation with ease. I worry about people not wanting to spend time with me because of the effort it might take to communicate one day. But the thing is, right now, I just keep reminding myself that I CAN hear. Right now I CAN hear my husband, children, family, friends, and acquaintances with relative ease. I have “good” hearing days and “bad” hearing days. The bad ones get me down if I let them. But the truth of the matter is that there’s just no way of knowing what might happen in the future. Technology is advancing all the time. Who knows what kind of change another 5-20 years might bring in the world of hearing loss research or hearing aids? I’m hopeful, and even cautiously optimistic.

From all the reading I’ve done, discussions I’ve had with my HIS, and various forums I’ve read, all we can do to preserve our hearing is to keep our exposure to noise at a minimum. That means wearing ear plugs or some sort of hearing protection whenever you are exposed to noise. I use good quality ear plugs whenever I mow the lawn, run the vacuum, or if my kids are in their “super toddler” modes and decide to have a screaming fest! I also always carry ear plugs with me, as well as my HA case, so that if I need to, I can just pop the HA out and put the ear plugs in. I don’t care how it looks to others because quite frankly, I’d rather do as much as I can now to protect my hearing so that I can (hopefully) hear my husband, children, and future grandchildren later.

Anyway, yes, it’s normal to worry a little bit. However, if you’re obsessing - which admittedly I did last summer - it may be time to get help. (I’m not saying that I think you ARE obsessing, but if you think you may be, then you might need some help.) Ask your HIS if they can connect you with a counselor who deals with hearing loss. Or get involved with your local HLAA chapter. If there aren’t any local support groups, maybe you can connect with an online support community such as AllDeaf or the Say What Club. There IS support out there, but you might just have to look for it if you aren’t in a large center. I know one previous forum member sought regular prayer sessions with someone from her church to help her deal with her new hearing loss. My point is, do what works for YOU!

Anyway, know that you aren’t alone. If you need/want to chat more, feel free to message me:) Hugs.

Kerry

I too very much worry about the future of my hearing over the last 9 years my hearing has gone for mild to moderate loss to moderately severe to severe loss. And I only have about 10% voice recognition left in my right ear in noisy places. I find myself not going out to eat and to ballgames and the such that often anymore. I also do not listen to music very much anymore or even watch that much TV. I am hoping that my change when I get my new aids early this next month.
I am 66 and I hope to have many many more good years in my life.

It sounds like we are all in the same boat - and we worry about our futures with hearing loss. I worry also, but not only do i worry my husband worries - we found out from genetics testing that my loss is genetic and it will progress to severe loss but the ENT and the Audiologist don’t know how quickly it will happen currently i’m at a moderate loss right now. I try to be positive but sometimes it is really hard to be since i grew up a normal hearing person and so what makes it harder for all us is we miss what we use to be able to hear, and from all the reading i have done this seems to be the hardest part for us.
Horselover