Have you ever noticed that you don’t hear everything you used to hear? Have you ever been inside a noisy restaurant and couldn’t hear the person across the table? Imagine someone trying to whisper something to you before entering an important meeting, and you walked into the meeting feeling ill at ease because you weren’t sure what they said. If these or similar things have happened to you, then you are probably a lot like I was.
I hated to go to any place where there was the least bit of background noise. When friends were over watching a ballgame, I crossed my fingers and hoped no one would ask me a question or start a conversation while the game was in progress. Each time I went into a restaurant, it seemed the waiter or waitress talked faster, mumbled, and spoke in a lower voice than the last time I dined out. After a while, I realized I was having trouble understanding the pastor’s sermon at church, my boss at work, and my kids at the dinner table.
I Finally Did Something About It
One day, at the urging of my entire family, I decided I had to admit to my hearing loss and do something. I didn’t want to at first, because somehow, I thought made me a less competent person or showed that I was old and worn out.
My only regret is that I wish I’d not let my ego impede doing something about my hearing loss sooner.
What did I do you might ask? Well, I made an appointment and visited a local facility, called the Becker Ear Nose & Throat Center. The audiologist & staff there were friendly and made me feel right at home and not the least bit embarrassed. They tested my hearing, gave me a complete report of the results, and spent more time than I would have imagined going over their findings and explaining the extent of my hearing problem.
I Wasn’t So Unusual After All
And, apparently, my situation isn’t that unusual. According to Princeton audiologist, Dr. Daniel G. Becker, hearing loss often causes people to withdraw from the people and activities they enjoy the most. Those with hearing loss realize they aren’t understanding conversations that everyone else hears. They feel they can’t take part in the things they’ve always loved to do. They grow more and more embarrassed by the need to ask what someone said or admit they didn’t understand a conversation. The result can be depression, social withdrawal, and even physical illness.
How Are Things Now? Let Me Tell You
Now that I’ve told you what I did about my hearing loss, let me tell you what’s happened since. I ended up needing hearing aids for both ears. And, it turns out there were a lot more choices of styles and sizes than I’d realized. I chose some fairly tiny ones that fit all the way down in my ear. They’re not nearly as noticeable as I thought they would be, and much to my relief none of my friends or coworkers made fun of me or treated me differently. Actually, it turns out several people I know at work already wore hearing aids and I’d just never noticed!
So, you probably want to know how my life has changed since I wore my new hearing aids. It’s so much better I hardly know where to start!
I can go out in public again with confidence. When we’re at one of our regular weekend art shows and the crowds are large, I don’t have to relay questions about painting to a friend. I can ask the artist myself and have no worries about understanding the reply. I don’t dread dinner out nights anymore either. When it’s my turn to order, I know it’s my turn, and I never have to ask to have the daily special or soup of the day repeated.
I’m also happy to report that we can now have a worry-free game watching parties again. When the crew comes over to watch the big game, I chime right in with everybody else, because I can hear whatever everyone else hears. Even when the score’s tight and the stadium’s loud. We can go to homeowners’ meetings, church services, civic club meetings, you name it. I never, ever have to ask what someone said after we leave!
Family gatherings are even better. I’d forgotten how much I used to enjoy dinner with my family. My favorite part of each day has always been sharing the day’s trials over a good meal. Sad to say, I’d gotten to a point where I sat and let everyone else talk. Not now. I join in and enjoy family table talk now more than I ever have!
You, Too, Can Enjoy Life More
Going to the Becker Ear Nose & Throat Center was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And to think, I could have been hearing better and enjoying life more years ago if I’d just done it sooner. You should do what I did. If you don’t think you hear what you once heard, or life seems to pass you by because you can’t pick up on conversations, get your hearing checked by experts like Daniel G. Becker of the Becker ENT Center in Princeton & Robbinsville, NJ. You’ll be amazed at how different things can be when in the hands of an expert audiologist.