What hearing loss means to me

My wife loves comedies, I get nothing out of them due to my hearing loss, even with my hearing aids. Comedies give me a headache, because I have to work so hard to try to figure out when the audience is laughing. I can’t understand enough of what is said to understand the punchline. I have been called a sour puss for not laughing at a joke that I never understand was a joke.
People with good hearing just can’t understand how it is or feels to have hearing loss.
I just don’t understand what is being said most of the time. I am accused of not listening, when really people don’t know how to speak slowly and clearly. Then there is the noise pollution that is everywhere, even with hearing aids it is almost impossible to understand one person talking to me, try being in a room where a lot of people are talking all at once.it is lake being at a pond or lake in the evenings with the frogs croaking and every possible insect making their sounds all at once. Then you add to that normal hearing aid electronic sound amplification and it just gives me another headache.
Having hearing loss sucks, and oh yes people wearing the damn face mask now makes it ten times worse.

I knew a lot of people like closed captioning on TV and movies, but I don’t I just prefer reading the book.


I do not hear anyone wearing a mask, nothing. So, I drag my daughter along with me so she can be my ears. She will pull down her mask and tell me what the clerk said. Embarrassing, yes, but I don’t care anymore.


Hearing loss to me is not being able to communicate with my wife, my son and his family and the few good friends I have.
To be alienated from life because of hearing loss can mean having a job and not having a job. Loss of hearing can also bring about mental strain.
This is where this forum gives so many of us the much needed support and understanding we need.


Same boat here. I bring my husband everywhere. I cannot hear when some is wearing a mask. It has been truly awful. I do use captioning for the TV. When I need to be somewhere, and the person I am talking to refuses to lower their mask, I leave. It is just that simple. Refuse to lower your mask ?, then do not talk to me.


Have you thought about using a speech to text app to help?

I find the speech to text apps do not work real well. I do have Live Transcribe that works pretty good. If I am someplace where my husband cannot be with me, ( like mammogram ), I will open Live Transcribe, so I can tell when they are calling my name.

1 Like

You have my total agreement. Alienation, isolation, rejection of others’ attempts to communicate - and very few people wish to (or know how to) speak clearly, enunciate, and up their volume without shouting angrily.

However I am reminded of the saying “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw someone who had no feet.”

I’m grateful to open my eyes in the morning, feel the cat purring next to my head even if I can’t hear her, breath air, drink coffee, and communicate with my wife by a combination of gestures, lip reading, and shared history.

As for the rest of the world - the word I want to use is probably taboo on the Forum, but the gist is, ‘to heck with it’.

I’d rather be as deaf as I am than be blind. My eyes are not what they once were but corrective lenses are amazingly helpful.

I do use Live Transcribe when possible. It needs good cell signal to work, and that is not always a given. And sometimes it is as hysterically wrong as I am: yesterday at the Vet, the woman asked if I was there to pick up a cat from surgery (yes - walk-in kitten getting neutered) and Live Transcribe heard ‘certainty’ for ‘surgery’. We both got a laugh out of that.

She was cool with my using the phone/ap to communicate with her. Some people are afraid they are being recorded or their privacy violated in some way, and refuse to allow it. I walk away.

This is getting too long but my point is, yes you are right hearing loss is a pain, but it could be worse, and if one can find some humor in ugly situations, one is ahead of the game.

Hang in there.


I totally agree with all the comments stated. My wife will sometimes ask me, “are you wearing your hearing aids” when I don’t pick up every word. I keep telling her that I can’t hear or understand certain words even with my great hearing aids. Especially when she starts a conversation in an adjoining room.
Another instance is when some of my soft speaking friends are asked to raise their voices, they immediately go from soft to loud, they only need to raise their voice slightly. It can be embarrassing. LOL.,


As Kurt Vonnegut would say… And so it goes…

We all have similar and different perspectives on our hearing loss. All depends on our ages, and environments. And of course the type and servility of our hearing loss. We all have our likes and dislikes, a lot of that depends on our up bringing. For me I grew up in the country, was drafted and instead joined the Navy. Was educated to be highly technical, and also I have a natural ability as a troubleshooter. I stayed as close to the living out n the country as possible while working in the cities. Upon retirement I headed to the forest and away from the noise of the cities. There is nothing like waking up to birds, squirrels, and even deer in the yard. I am both technical minded and love the simple life.


All of the above. Hearing problems when I worked left me exhausted. I have zero privacy. My wife goes everywhere with me. Gun shop…Feed store…Doctor…I introduce her as my hearing ear wife…Couldn’t make it without her. and like everyone else, masks have completely taken away my ability to even think about understanding anyone…


I feel your pain and totally agree. I think jokes are so painful. I was at an orientation for parents of college freshmen and they brought in a comedian to entertain us. I was stuck in an auditorium with 300 people all laughing and a comedian walking up and down the aisles. I was clueless and exhausted from trying to stay with the jokes. It feels so lonely to sit in a crowd and watch other people having so much fun. I wanted to run out but would have been called out, so I just sat there and cried.

I try to be upbeat and grateful and it’s also so nice to have this forum to vent to people who get it. Thank you!


Hearing loss to me, loss of communication, with family and friends… Self isolation- it was just easier than trying to talk to people. Loss of social life as it was just too hard to talk to people in a noisey room.
I was told I had to retire from work because I couldn’t take Drs phone orders any more- I was sacked because I couldn’t answer the phone. While hospitals supply many thing for the deaf community but not a Bluetooth landline phone sadly.

What I really got tired of was having to say “I’m sorry, I’m deaf could you repeat that please” if I said it once I said it 50 times a day…


Agree with all that. I gave up trying to be with people. You know, the stay at home advisory for the pandemic made little change to my life? Instead of getting groceries once a week, I go once every 3 to 4 weeks. Nothing else had to change. Because I had already dropped out of life.


Probably nearly all of us here on the forum can empathize with you. That has been my life story for 40 years.

About 1980, as a young assistant professor of nuclear engineering, I was presenting a paper at a technical conference in a fairly large auditorium. When I finished, I opened the floor for questions. The first question came from a distinguished scientist from Yugoslavia. I couldn’t understand him at all. Several other members of the audience tried to explain his question, but I couldn’t understand them either. By then, it was clear that the entire audience had concluded that I was too stupid to understand the point. That was the beginning of the decline of my career.

I soon got my first hearing aids and soldiered on until 2003 when I took an early retirement offer at age 61. By then, I could not interact with students in the classroom.


Golly Chuck, I thought your new Oticons were so wonderful and that you were hearing so well. I am so sorry.

My situation is a bit different. Since moving back to igloo Minnesota from sunny Florida two years ago I am stuck in a one bedroom apartment. Since COVID-19 they have started a chat many times a week in the hall. I can’t go because I cannot understand them with a mask on their face. It was hard even before the masking. Sometimes I have asked them to drop their mask and they will. But most the time they have not attempted to speak louder, so I don’t bother much anymore.

We are all blessed in numerous ways, too many to list but still there are worse things than hearing loss. Daughter has severe Type 1 Diabetes and is in pain 24-7 and I know she would change her disease for hearing loss any day. Unbeknownst to me at the time of her onset was it being one of the most hideous disease anyone could have. Cancer is another beast.

Didn’t you have a CI? Or am I remembering wrong. And if you did has it helped a lot?

Well yes they are wonderful in a sense that they are the best that I have ever had, but that doesn’t mean they have the capacity to give me back the impossible.

I think we can all empathize cvkemp… Sometimes we feel “Woe is Me” but there are plenty in this world whom are far less fortunate than us, we are survivors and yes most folks don’t understand the prejudice that abounds through hearing loss, but there are also many kind souls out their to counter this :grinning: We have this forum to occasionally vent our spleen and the information I have gleaned over the years is priceless, I have learned much… We have this understanding that can only occur once you have walked in our shoes, we have the gift of understanding and knowledge of exactly how it feels, in a way we are blessed with that knowledge, we are not alone… Overnight I went deaf, I had gone from perhaps the life and soul of the party to almost total recluse and my world almost fell apart with no idea how to climb out of the hole I was in and this forum gives us the opportunity to help or assist other new liked minded souls to adjust and encouraged them to face the world with renewed vigor, dust themselves down, except their world has now changed for ever and hopefully move on… All the best CV, cheers Kev.

1 Like

Yes, I now have two cochlear implants. The first in October and the second 3 days ago.
The CI is pretty amazing. It is a learning process that takes time. My first implant I can hear much better than I could with an aid.
My earlier comments about hearing family and friends is better, not perfect but getting better and better.