What I hear (or what’s left)

It would be a good idea for me to put down some kind of status as to how my hearing is these days (as a baseline):

Without my hearing aids I can barely hear:

  • My son singing at certain notes at the top of his voice (gives me echo-effect on that frequency until I hear new sounds)
  • A tractor right outside my windows (5 meters away)
  • Only the bass from music

keep-silence With hearing aids in quiet surroundings I hear:

  • Well enough to understand spoken words with the aid of lipreading (better if my head is clear and rested)
  • When really silent: a noisy refrigerator, traffic noise outside the building, an airplane or helicopter in the sky. I get a “white noise” sound from running water.
  • My external hard-drive – the spinning disks vibrate into the wooden table.
  • Other peoples voices in the room, but cannot understand without lipreading.
  • Familiar voices on the mobile for short conversations and messages. I most often have to repeat and ask for confirmation. It’s border-line.
  • Other peoples footsteps in same building, maybe a slamming door.
  • Static noise from electrical FM-devices like my Phonak Smartlink

With hearing aids in a “quiet cafe” surrounding I can hear:

  • Spoken word if not more than 1 meter away, but I have to concentrate really hard
  • Other people speaking, but cannot make out what is said.
  • Music, but only in the form of unrecognised sounds…

 With hearing aids in noisy surroundings I hear:1728

  • All sounds are garbled and mixed in an impossible soup of noise
  • I can extract a voice from 50 cm away if noise isn’t too bad, and I know the subject and the person (if I’m used to lipread whomever, it’s a better chance of understanding)
  • Cars and trucks travelling at high speed close by me
  • Dogs barking loud

When waching a movie with sound directly into my hearing aids I am dependant on captioning. Environmental sounds like running water (splashing), wind blowing, birds chirping etc are lost completely. Spoken words are not understood at all without captioning (dialogue is most often switching and camera angles changing too fast for lip-reading to be effective enough).

Music has lost it’s magic during the last few years. I can sense the rythm, and hear most of the bass and drums. Percussion is completely gone. Perception of vocals depends on type of music and what tone the voice has. Guitar has disappeared slowly last few years, now it’s not “swinging” at all anymore…

I wrote down this, because I want to use it to compare later when I get the CI (my personal baseline).


4 Responses to “What I hear (or what’s left)”

  1. valerie Says:

    I felt like you before my CIs. I remember the feeling of losing my sense of belonging. a CI is not a magic pill, but it does give back some of what you lost. I hope it happens to you too. Music has been my greatest joy since I got my CIs. It sounds better than ever.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Ulf, what you’re hearing sounds very similar to where I was for about a year before I went completely deaf and required my second CI…except that without the hearing aid I could only hear the very loudest sounds…doors slamming, the kids SCREAMING beside my head, etc. I hope the whole CI process moves along quickly for you in the next few months…you will benefit from it SO much!

  3. Abbie Says:

    Wow, reading what you hear now is what I heard three years ago. It was kind of funny, I kept thinking it was my hearing aid all that time. I kept going to get my hearing aid adjusted and I was sent on my merry little way to see if it “did the trick” Until one day, nothing worked. I think this is an excellent post to refer back to when you get your CI. I wish I did this!

    With the CI you will be hearing keys jingling, keyboard clicking, bells whistling, and your son turning over in bed when its quiet. Its definitely something to look forward to.

  4. My un-sound condition - pre CI era « Becoming Deaf in Norway 2007 Says:

    […] Here’s a similar post I wrote january this year… […]

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