When did you first notice your hearing loss?
I had tinnitus in elementary school, knew I was not hearing as well as my peers during high school and my friends were noticing I was HOH by the time I was in grad school.
Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids? Yes, because I work and I’m dealing with Hearing people and need the ability to listen effectively because only the clinical statistician knows sign language. I tried hearing aids in my 30s, they didn’t help. I’ve worn them with much greater success since I was in my 50s but have congenital, progressive loss. I mistook it for dementia at one point because people would recount things from large business meetings to me, afterwards, and I had no memory of the comments to which they referred. That was creepy.
What caused your hearing loss?
A genetic mutation in a gene called DFNB12 or CDH23 (cadherin 23). It causes a ski slope that snowboarders would totally envy. Normal low frequency hearing, stone deafness in the highs.
Where do you have the most trouble?
Anywhere there is background noise. On the positive side, I have had lovely noisy restaurant meals, from which I do not emerge exhausted and drained, if we are communicating in American Sign Language.
Does anyone in your family have hearing loss? Yes, every generation there is someone, as far back as I can trace. But I am the first to interact with the Deaf Community.