Favorite sounds? Do you have them?
When my good friend Gail Crane was a little girl, she loved listening to her mother’s singing, the chirping of birds, the Mickey Mouse song (M-I-C, K-E-Y), her Chatty Cathy doll, and the voices of her friends.
As a teenager, Gail relished the Beatles, The Troggs, and Simon and Garfunkel; her friends’ voices, especially on the telephone; the cheering and yelling at the football and basketball games; and the band music that helped her dance team, the Spartanettes, step lively.
Her favorite sounds now include the cooing of a baby, children’s laughter, the voices of family and friends, oldies music, the meowing and purring of her cats, and the happy rhythms of a tap dancer’s feet.
Sound is becoming even more precious to Gail because she has Meniere’s Disease, which is causing her to lose her hearing in her left ear.
How does hearing loss affect her work?
Gail writes, “My job is answering the phone and setting up appointments. I have to put the phone at my right ear only. It is really distracting when others in the room are talking at the same time. I am increasingly getting numbers and letters wrong in names, etc.”
How does hearing loss affect her social life?
She says, “I need to remember to sit with others sitting to my right if possible. Otherwise I often feel left out of the conversation.”
What are the biggest frustrations associated with hearing loss?
Gail reports, ” Needing the TV turned up louder than others want or need it. Seeing the frustration in others when they have to repeat what they say to you. Not knowing what direction a sound comes from.”
The American Hearing-Speech Language Association is sponsoring a Speak Up About Hearing Loss Campaign.
As Gail’s friend, I’m pleased she speaks up about her hearing loss. I’m glad to sit on the side that’s best for conversation. I’m happy to meet for dinner at a restaurant where the noise levels are low. I’m very willing to speak louder or more slowly.
Not everyone is as open as Gail is about hearing loss. If there’s someone in your life who seems to be having trouble hearing, you may need to be the one to speak up first.
Approach your parent or spouse or friend about seeking professional help and taking a hearing test. While Gail told me that a hearing aid won’t help her ailing ear, they do wonders in many situations. She says, “Get a really good hearing aid–otherwise you become increasingly isolated.”
Speak up! Don’t let your loved one miss out on the sounds of a lifetime. And if you’re experiencing hearing loss yourself, speak up about your own difficulties.
To find a certified audiologist in your area, search this site of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/proserv/
ASHA’s website offers a wealth of information and resources, including a very user-friendly search feature: http://asha.org/about/
In the photo below, Gail’s at her high school reunion in Connersville, Indiana getting ready to reminisce with the Spartanettes. Thanks, Gail, for your help with this post.
(I wrote this blog post while participating in a campaign by BOOMboxNetwork.com on behalf of ASHA and received payment for my participation. All opinions stated within are my own.)