When I was chatting about noise with FOF friends, Sylvia and Terry, I decided it would be a good idea to have a hearing test. Sylvia recommended her doc, Lisa Szubin, whose name sounded familiar. Turns out I saw her almost five years ago, her assistant told me after reviewing the files.
After an examination by Dr. Szubin and a bunch of tests by a young audiologist, I learned I’m a “candidate for hearing aids.” The doctor showed me a graph which indicated that my ability to hear middle level sounds was below normal. These sounds include men’s voices, she explained, which amused me. Both ears have the same amount of loss.
My hearing is age related, as well as hereditary. My dad died at 69 and I don’t recall if he had hearing loss, but my mom did, although she made believe she didn’t. My mother-in-law made believe, too. They weren’t big listeners anyway, so it probably didn’t matter.
“You’re a with it person, so you’re probably compensating for any loss by looking at people’s faces and gestures,” Dr. Szubin told me. Aside from having to turn the TV up louder than in the past, and asking people to repeat words once in a while, I haven’t noticed any other issues. My old records were in storage, so the doctor couldn’t yet compare them with the most recent test results, but she said she’d get back to me.
I don’t need to run out and be fitted for aids tomorrow, Dr.Szubin said, but I might like to meet with the audiologist for a consultation. The good news is, you can try out the aids for 45 days and return them if you’re not happy. The not-so-good news is the cost of these devices: $3,400 each. I guess we’re talking Bose quality. Other crummy news: Insurance, in most cases, doesn’t cover hearing aids. Interesting, it covers the cost of finding out whether you need them, but doesn’t actually cover the little gems.
My sisters, brother in law and David all say I don’t need hearing aids, that I rarely ask them to repeat things. One sister even joked that no one says anything worthwhile, anyway. But I figure what does it hurt to try. The audiologist said the aid is made of a thin, little clear tube that goes into the ear, attached to a thin, clear tube that rests behind the ear and can easily be hidden by hair.
I think it’s an adventure. I am not bothered a bit. I like seeing more crisply with my glasses and maybe my hearing will be crisper, too. My appointment is next Wednesday. I’ll keep you posted.