About five years ago, I never thought much about my hearing. I just made certain that I stayed away from most music today (which is extremely loud for no particular purpose that I can see). If I couldn’t. I carried handy dandy plugs to put in my ears to lessen any damage. I heard everything great. Then about four years ago, my doctor said I should go for a hearing test. He recommended another doctor.
That doctor gave me a test, did some tsk tsking and pontificated that I had a rather bad hearing loss and I should obtain some hearing aids. He went on in his “scare the bejeebers out of you” voice and indicated that, if I didn’t my ears would lose their ability to hear until it reached the point that hearing aids would do no good. That was certainly scary enough that I thought heavily about the matter at various times. Then one day I realized that I was having trouble understanding The Blonde in the house’s soft tones. She had developed a habit of reminding me of that fact, I will admit.
I also realized that I was having trouble understanding female TV announcers as well several other women one meets in the course of the day – unless they happened to have a deep voice. So, I decided to do some checking on just what hearing aids did and how long they had been around. As you may have seen in movies or TV the first aids were horn like things that you stuck in your ear to pick up sounds. They were usually made from animal horns which you carried on a belt or wore like a necklace. Personally, I do not care for When electricity came along a gentleman by the name of Miller Reese Hutchinson invented in 1898 the Akouphone which used an electric current to amplify weak signals. Of course, that meant that you had to stick your figure in an outlet to pick up the current – ok, you didn’t they had some other trick. The first actual manufactured hearing aids using electric current were made in 1913. Unfortunately, they were not very portable which meant that you had to stay home a lot, which would not have interested me if I had Today, as is obvious if you look around in The Villages, they have much better hearing aids made by modern science. Modern science I have been told is good. Thus, I went to see a hearing specialist full of high hopes. He noted that I would be amazed at how I would hear the birds chirping and other pleasurable noises once I had the magic aids in my ears which were just waiting to hear proper sounds again. However, I have a long memory and what he said reminded me of what an eye doctor had told me many years ago which was that I would be pleased at what I would be able to see. At that time, I bought the glasses, and each time I went thereafter I had to get stronger lenses. To the point, glasses made my eyes worse. True after fifty years I have had cataract surgery and can see fine, but that is another story.
Therefore, I asked the specialist if the same thing would happen with my ears as had happened with my eyes. That is, if I wore hearing aids would my real hearing get worse. With a twinkle in his eye, he allowed that yep, that would occur. It is true that my hearing when I don’t use my hearing aids is worse than when I started using them.
It is good though to have a specialist who knows what he is talking about!
Barry Evans writes about “Life in The Villages” for Villages-News.com.