The Limping Chicken
September 17, 2014
“It’s not really so much about not being able to hear – it’s more about not being able to understand”.
My father and I were talking on the phone when he made this remark about progressive hearing loss – something we talk about a lot these days.
He has worn hearing aids for decades and now aged 90 his loss of hearing is what he describes as ‘significant’.
My mother (at 92) has recently started to wear a hearing aid in one ear, and for the first time is experiencing for herself the unpleasant surprise of amplified sound and the ways in which a hearing aid can make things both better and worse.
“The cutlery is so loud!” she says. “It drowns out everything else!” and we laugh about it, as if the knives and forks had a life of their own, but my father has struggled with this amplification of sound for years and it’s really not funny.
Everyday background noises that most of us hardly notice – like the running tap Moira Dancer described in her post here recently – can suddenly turn into a terrifying blast of sound that can either drive you crazy or scare you witless.