Short interview for individuals with a hearing loss

Hello! My name is Marigny and I am a Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student. For my audiology course, we are currently learning about hearing aids, cochlear implants and how best to manage a hearing loss. For one of our assignments, we are required to interview individuals who have a hearing loss. I would really appreciate if you could answer the following questions. Thank you in advance!

  1. When did you first notice your hearing loss?
  2. Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids?
  3. What caused your hearing loss?
  4. Where do you have the most trouble?
  5. Does anyone in your family have hearing loss?
  • When did you first notice your hearing loss?
    You do not need to know the date. (perhaps when you were born.) I mixed music as part of my job. One day my ears said the left and right mix was off-center and dull. Meters/analysis said balance was excellent with full brightness. Combined with other signs, I quit making musical decisions for others.

  • Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids?
    Yes, one, because it helps, 10 months.

  • What caused your hearing loss?
    Everything? Antibiotics. Smoking. Loud music. Gunfire. Loud cars. Genes.

  • Where do you have the most trouble?
    Probably some place I won’t go; we get adverse to situations where we feel “deaf”. Of places I do go: the back (milk case) of supermarkets, and restaurants.

  • Does anyone in your family have hearing loss?
    Everybody. (See ‘genes’ above.) Both grandfathers good for distant thunder, bad for speech or TV. Both parents have worn aids off/on for 30 years. Middle sibling has loss. Youngest had slight loss a few years ago.

  • When did you first notice your hearing loss? 8 years ago
  • Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids? Yes. So I can hear and communicate with others
  • What caused your hearing loss? Genetics as well as being a carpenter and musician. Not wearing ear protection didn’t help.
  • Where do you have the most trouble? Enjoying music, conversing in environments with background noise.
  • Does anyone in your family have hearing loss? No
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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.

  1. When did you first notice your hearing loss?
    As long as 12-15 years ago, but the price of hearing aids kept me from doing anything about it until my doctor recommended Costco.

  2. Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids?
    Yes. Got my first aids 5 years ago and newer ones about a year ago.

  3. What caused your hearing loss?
    Some is probably inherited as my father had the same loss as he aged, but I’m sure years of secretarial work plugged into a transcription machine aggravated the loss. I often had to raise the volume considerably in order to understand sloppy dictation.

  4. Where do you have the most trouble?
    When distance is involved. I’m retired now and my hobby is training and competing with my dogs in obedience and similar trials. I can’t understand either instructors or judges when distance is involved. I recently acquired a BT device that people could wear which I hope will solve that problem but won’t be able to test it until after the Covid lockdowns end.

  5. Does anyone in your family have hearing loss?
    Yes, my father, and I assume some others in the prior generation of his family, since he used to say it “ran in the family.”

  1. When did you first notice your hearing loss? 1975
  2. Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids? Yes, I wear bilateral RIC Aids. I use them, because I can not communicate with anyone without them. I have had hearing aids for 40 years
  3. What caused your hearing loss? Noise exposure in the military.
  4. Where do you have the most trouble? Any situation with background noise, no matter how small…any group setting.
  5. Does anyone in your family have hearing loss? Runs on both sides of the family. Father born deaf on one ear. The other damaged in Korean War by grenade concussion. Many family members on both sides with hearing aids. Several on my fathers side would be considered to be deaf.
  1. my mum did when I was 2 or so. Took her 3 years to convince the doctors it really was and she was not just an overly concerned mother.

  2. yes. No aids means I will live in isolation. Use aids for 44 years now

  3. Dunno the cause. But it’s a defect in the Cochlea. Most likely inherited from my dad.

  4. large offices

  5. yes. But not in the same degree.

  1. One morning in April 2014, it happened overnight, one ear only. Reverse slope type. I was 31 when it happened.

  2. Yes, since November 2015. First went to therapies, but aid provides constant therapy, plus gives some localisation. Started with one aid (widex dream), but since 2017 I wore it just a few hours a day since I’m mostly at home. Couldn’t understand people when they’re on my bad side.
    Since July 2020 I got two new aids (phonak marvels, then paradise) and now even in some noise (shopping mall on slow day, echoey) I can follow my partner when he’s on my bad side with mask on. Localisation is natural. Sound for speech is distorted on both, but still comprehension is better, so it’s worth the cost.

  3. Cause unknown. Working theory ‘ear attack’. Since they don’t know what it was, they said it can repeat on the other ear. So, that’s significant reason to train my bad ear - to keep brain working and not forgetting it exists, in case something bad happens to my good ear in the future, that I have then two damaged ears but still holding on and not one newly damaged and one forgotten and unusable.

Knowing it might attack again, in any of the ears, makes me uneasy, and that’s one reason why I’m interested in cochlear implants, to know possibilities for the future.

  1. Without aids? Everywhere when it’s not one on one and quiet.
    With aids? Speech babble and general noisy environments are hard or not doable at all, like I tune out of the conversations because I just can’t follow no matter how hard I try (context, lip reading, repeating), too many words are lost.
    That’s why I use mics. With them, I still have to focus, but results are significantly better and I can follow the conversation (including all other helping cues).

Once mic battery died on me during the conversation and I had a great proof how much they really help me. And how top of the line, properly fitted aids, fall short in such environment for my loss. I have bad SNR (streaming test through the fitted aids gave something like 12, so, bad, can’t find a place to do proper one).

  1. Yeah, old age type. So it started in their late 60s or later, depending on the person. And no one has aids, vanity and ‘I don’t have a problem, you just speak too soft’, so didn’t do tests either. None had overnight or something similar.
  • When did you first notice your hearing loss? 20 years ago
  • Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids? Yes, 20 years.
  • What caused your hearing loss? Probably hearing a V1 buzz bomb pulse jet engine at close range.
  • Where do you have the most trouble? Talking to people.
  • Does anyone in your family have hearing loss? no
  1. When did you first notice your hearing loss? Hearing test when I separated from the military in early 1984
  2. Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids? Yes, had trouble understanding voices in noisy environments, soft or accented voices on the phone, etc. About 7 years I was tested and told that aids would most likely help so got them. Siemens Pure, original Oticon OPN miniRITE, now OPN S 1 miniRite
  3. What caused your hearing loss? Probably a combination of genetics, age, and loud noise exposure (military helicopter pilot, guns, loud engines, etc)
  4. Where do you have the most trouble? noisy environments such as restaurants and large meetings, conference phone calls where speakers are far from microphone or speaking softly
  5. Does anyone in your family have hearing loss? Yes - grandfather (mother’s side), mother and one of her brothers, one of my sisters (6 years younger with about the same type of loss but started earlier for her).
  • When did you first notice your hearing loss?
    I’m not sure I did. My family began to wonder when I couldn’t communicate adequately if I weren’t looking directly at them. That is, comments from my kids on a night-time dog walk elicited a lot of “huh?” from me.

  • Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids?
    Yes, I got my first pair in September, 2012: Oticon Agile Pro
    I got my second pair in September 2019: Phonak M90-13T
    They have made a huge difference. Even better when I got a Roger Select iN to go with the Marvels. I can now understand my spouse perfectly when we go out to dinner. Of course that doesn’t happen much these days.

  • What caused your hearing loss?
    Old age? Likely it was job related. I spent many years sitting in a dark laboratory that had rather a number of vacuum pumps clacking away at all hours. So, I’m guessing there was a long, slow degeneration.

  • Where do you have the most trouble?
    I can communicate without hearing aids if I’m in a quiet place and talking one on one with someone I’m facing. If I’m not facing them, or if the space is noisy, I haven’t much of a clue as to what’s being said to me. Before HAs, trying to communicate in a group setting was essentially useless.

  • Does anyone in your family have hearing loss?
    Well, my sister made my mother get HAs when she, our mother that is, was in her 90s. I expect she could have used them much earlier. I rarely saw her in group settings, so we communicated pretty well when we were one-on-one at her house. But, she complained about not understanding women at church. Later, when I visited her in her nursing home in her mid-to-late 90s, her HAs really did make a huge difference in our ability to communicate. My first task on each visit was to hunt up the HAs, put in new batteries, and then put the HAs into her ears. At her age and with her arthritis, she had no way to maintain or use the HAs on her own.
    I’m pretty sure that my brother, who is in his 80s, could use a bit of help that way, but I don’t see him enough to get a decent handle on that.

  1. When did you first notice your hearing loss? About a year ago, I noticed that I couldn’t understand people when there was background noise.
  2. Do you wear hearing aids? Why or why not? How long have you worn hearing aids? Not anymore, my hearing worsened into the profound range fairly quickly, working on CI process now.
  3. What caused your hearing loss? Not sure, I’m adopted so I don’t have much family history.
  4. Where do you have the most trouble? Everywhere
  5. Does anyone in your family have hearing loss?see #3