From HardOfHearing to deaf – the symptoms

First of all – your audiochart will show that you cannot hear sounds with less than 90 dB in most of the range of where the human voices has their frequencies.

My hearing is almost all below 95 dB. On both ears. The range frequency is from 125 Hz (deep bass) to 8000 Hz (high pitch).

The biggest and most difficult symptom to become aware of, if your hearing slowly degrades like mine, would be the fatigue. I for my part couldn’t understand why I kept becoming so tired. It took many years to understand.

I did everything I could to improve my health over the years. Changed my diet. Exercise (which I have done on and off for more than a decade now, fortunately). Minimized intake of alcohol. Focused on sleep hygiene. The list can go on….

And still I was dead tired… I pushed myself harder, thinking this will pass. Eventually the pushing of myself became a habit, and all of a sudden I had erased my own limits of when to step back and take a breather. This led to a collapse, mentally.

The mental signs would be, of course, the tiredness, followed and accompanied by loss of cognitive skills (I use Su Doku to check my brain to see if I’m able to work them out). One might also try to read a book. If you’re not able to keep the eyes focused and conentrate on the content of what is being read, well, maybe time to relax?… Short term memory becomes worse. (I have learned to cope with it by using strategies like making people send me SMS or e-mails, writing down lists and using a my PIM a LOT!!!)

(A PIM is an akronym for PersonalInformationManager. My PIM is my mobile, I enter all my appointments, names of people I’ve met, numbers, adresses etc. Also my computer is a great tool when also syncronized with my PIM)

Further on with mental symptoms following the fatigue caused by overcompensating for lack of hearing:

Sleep-disturbances has been a big issue for me. A psychologist helped me through that…

Stress-tolerance declines and declines until something is done. This is just like a “burn-out” we hear about when people has been working too hard for too long. With low stress-tolerance, even a trip in the car becomes a huge straining factor. Only to commute to and from work can be so tiring because of the stress that it wears one down even further and harder….

I for my part was also prone to invent strange thoughts about other people. Suspiciousness, mild paranoia, anger towards people I love etc etc. There are many things that can relate to this, and the cause isn’t solely related to the hearing alone. But it has some bearing obviously.

Because the hearing declines, one also becomes more of an outcast in social situations. Being in a place with a lot of people, and almost never understand what everyone is laughing about can be hard to cope with. And when that happens over and over again, it is easy to fall for the temptation of faking that you understand. It’s part of social interaction. It’s normal to want to be part of the group and wnat to interact…

Last but not least (for the time being) is frequent headaches. They’re secondary symptoms to stress and fatigue. Headaches can also be caused by tensions in the body, also muscular and skeletal pains has become big issues concering my health recently.

I write a lot here… I think I have more in store about this, but for now, this is enough, since I’m tired…. (of course 😉  )

6 Responses to “From HardOfHearing to deaf – the symptoms”

  1. Anne Says:

    Hey, this is the weird deaf girl that talked to you on Facebook.

    Even if and when you get the cochlear implant, as I understand, it will not ever really be the same as before. The synthetic sounds are different from real life. (I wrote a long research paper about this, CIs, ABIs, etc.. Lol.) Anyways, just wanted tell you that when my hearing began to leave me just a year ago, which is all gone now, I began to learn sign language. Then, I had thought that it would come back, and was pretty angry… at God… for letting this happen to me! (couldnt blame another person!) I’m not at all good at it, but it can be real helpful in communication with others…. like if you ever get pulled by a cop, for say… speeding…. sign that you are deaf, don’t talk to them, and they may let you go with only a warning. I would assume American Sign Language (ASL) would differ from what is used in Norway, perhaps BSL, or NSL?

    No, I’m not crazy. well, maybe just a bit! haha. just kidding! But I know that God has a plan for me. And I pray that He has a plan for you, too, and for that to successful.

  2. Ulf Nagel Says:

    Hey Anne!
    The sign language I learn is a lighter variant of the “real” norwegian sign language for deaf. It is called “Norwegian with Sign-support”… And you’re right, it’s not at all like ASL
    Since I have been wearing BTE hearing aids all my life, I guess I’m accustomed to the “syntethic” sound already
    I also noted through the years that every time I switched to a newer model of an hearing-aid, I needed approximately a year to get used to the sound of the new one. In that perspective actually believe my brain has training in adapting to new sound-environments.
    As for God’s plans, I totally agree… There is a higher purpose in everything eventually… Life is about seeing how good we are at overcoming various obstacles… And at every hurdle we either fall or suceed, either way, the important thing is to continue….

  3. FOL Says:

    I totally GET all this! I have just given a deaf awareness training session to my colleagues and am hoping it will buck their expectations up a bit! It’s not “Hearing aid in therefore you can hear. Lipread therefore you can understand.” No way, Jose! It’s good to know that I am not the only one who is so tired all the time 🙂

  4. Lizabeth Says:

    Hi! My brother is having some problems…he cannot har out of his right ear and it came on suddenly. He has tried everything to fi xit, but nothing works! I swear its not earwax!

    Any suggestions? Do you think he could be getting deaf?

    – Liz

  5. 2010 in review « Becoming Deaf in Norway 2007 Says:

    […] Posts Op. CIMending my broken heartFrom HardOfHearing to deaf – the symptomsExplaining the analogy: "Recruitment" of hair cells in cochleaInsight through peersAbout […]

  6. Kimberly Says:

    hey, if u can remember to when you were becoming deaf, did you ever hear a ringing at anytime? cause i keep hearing ringing, & i’ve heard thats a sign of becoming deaf. i’m worried that i’m becoming deaf as well. hopefully, i’m not anytime soon!

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