In a previous article we discussed the difference between being blind and being visually impaired. For the ‘lucky‘ people with Usher Syndrome the problem are double. Not only your eyes do not work, but also ears. If Usher Syndrome Type I is basically deafblindness, those with Type II are not necessarily blind nor deaf.
Visually impaired and hearing impaired. Ipo from the ancient greek ὑπό, hypó, under
In my case it is bilateral congenital hearing loss, or difficulty hearing in both ear ssince birth. Beyond words, if the sight of a person with Usher Syndrome Type II is likely to deteriorate more or less quickly the hearing loss is stationary in most cases, very rarely do people lose hearing completely. The use of the hearing aid allows them to hear and develop language.
Again therefore, a defect not visible, which have to be explained or discovered by the new people met.
As you can see in the pictures of audiograms of four years, in my case it is a hearing loss medium / light that is nearly normal at low frequencies around 250 Hz, as I hear down to 20 dB and worsens with increasing frequency, since around 8000 Hz and I need 60 dB to hear the tones.
The only comforting thing is the stationarity of the deficit that has remained unchanged over the years.
(If you want to understand the audiogram go here)
How do we put this in practical terms?
I do not hear the doorbell, the phone (the mobile phone is always in vibrating mode), I have problems to hear if there is background noise, I have a feeling that many people do not speak clearly, I misunderstands what people are saying or respond in an inappropriate manner, I often ask people to repeat …
I answered yes to most of the questions of the questionnaire to determinate the need of an hearing exam.
As the doctors always told me I won’t lose hearing, but listening, especially if I do not use hearing aids.
And I often do not use them. Only in situations of extreme need, as learning a language, to watch a movie together with friends (otherwise I use headphones) to listen to a conference.
This means that I lose a lot of details of sound, a lot of noises, pleasant and unpleasant, and when I put the aids I realize that I live in a world muffled for most of the time.
Why I do not constantly use the hearing aids?
Because for years I felt an elderly, one of those happy grandparents with the smiling faces of the many advertisements for hearing aids, for years I have been struggling with inner conflict of feeling a ‘different’. However when you add the problem that only one of two works, and given the exorbitant costs for the hearing aids, for now I have to manage with one ear impaired and the other aided, strictly with CIC, so you do not see it.
But this is another topic.