Lower sound tolerance, or heightened sensitivity to everyday noises, is a hallmark of hyperacusis. The repercussions of this in a person’s daily life can be substantial. An individual’s professional life, social life, and mental stability are all at risk.
Everything from simple conversations with friends to more involved tasks like driving a car or cleaning your house may feel like an enormous challenge. Even hearing one’s own voice or their partner’s voice may be too much for some people.
Living with hyperacusis can make it seem like the environment is constantly excruciatingly loud. Sounds with a high pitch, such as an alarm, a baby’s wailing, or a pane of glass breaking, can be extremely painful and distressing. Pain or pressure in the ear can be very uncomfortable. Hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are common side effects of extreme sensitivity to sound.
To discover how to deal with noise sensitivity, we’ll cover an interview with a young lass who has dealt with deafness for a long time.
How did you manage your hearing loss?
Honestly? Not until I started elementary school. Even yet, I didn’t realise I was different from others until the fifth grade. I thought we’d all end up normally hearing like our parents did when we were kids, even though I was raised in a family of deaf people. In elementary school, my classmates didn’t seem to mind that I had trouble hearing (although, to be fair, I was never a gregarious kid, so maybe this contributed to the problem).
When I started the fifth grade, I had recently gotten my second cochlear implant, and I felt utterly deaf. Because of this, I had a hard time establishing meaningful relationships with other people. I was picked out because of my difficulties using the new technology. Since I had become accustomed to this way of life, I didn’t give it much thought until I realised that it wasn’t the case for everyone.
I still don’t find it particularly bothersome. This is how things have always been, so I don’t have to “cope” with anything new. Unlike some may think, I don’t spend every waking moment moping about how my disability holds me back from living an entire life. What may seem unusual or strange to you is probably just part of my routine, but I can’t think of anything else to compare it to.
When did you find out about it?
There is nothing you must bear. You don’t need to worry about a thing. Since I was 2/3/4 years old, my right ear has been completely deaf (no one could tell with rigour as it was diagnosed when I was 5 years old. For obvious reasons, I don’t know if hearing with both ears is better than hearing with only one, so I can’t say for sure if I am deaf or not.
But I can tell you that my “deafness” has been made up for by the development of a strong “sixth sense.” For example, I can “feel” everything I look at and “hear” the messages orcs, whales, and many other living and non-living things send into the air with their minds.
A loss of hearing does not impair other senses. Being able to ignore the ignorance of other people and the things they usually say is a virtue of the spirit and a great instrument of the mind.
What affected your regular life?
The adjustment to the quiet way of life was really challenging for me. Losing something is much more painful emotionally than never having had it. Nonetheless, I adapted to it over time.
I’ve gone back to my old way of life, in which I enjoy every part of my life except listening to music. Also, any other noises that may be present. I came to the conclusion that nothing physical really matters. Perhaps adaptation is the key.
Learning sign language was fine, but it’s not really worth it until you can get the rest of the world to learn “with” you. All of my close friends and family members are aware of my deafness and have adapted by speaking more slowly to allow me to read their lips.
Learning how to read someone’s lips can be helpful when trying to communicate with someone who can hear but doesn’t sign. Make sure you use it somewhere quiet and well-lit where you can easily make out the speaker’s face.
It’s helpful to learn to read lips and body language. Although challenging, it’s not insurmountable. As I’ve been there, too, I understand how tough this time must be for you.
You’ll make it, and you probably already know this, but being deaf can make you more sensitive to the world around you in other ways. It’s essential to use closed captioning when watching television. Consider yourself fortunate if you make use of social media as a means of contact, as the vast majority of people do.
What Kind of Assistance Did You Get?
Regret over your hearing loss is natural and acceptable. You’re not just losing a means by which to communicate with the outside world; you’re taking on significantly more difficult tasks.
Realise that mourning is a stage that must be passed. Numbing your sorrows with booze, food, or drugs may feel good in the moment, but they won’t help you in the long run. Even though it may hurt, it’s best to push through the negative emotions.
Do yourself a favour and learn how to utilise a smart phone if you don’t already have one. If you have trouble hearing even with amplification, there are a number of apps that can help. I ask for things (like cocoa in a grocery shop) by tapping them into a notes app and sending them to the employee there. The other programme accurately converts spoken words into written form, facilitating communication.
Much of the deaf community enjoys watching television, so if you share this interest, you may want to invest in a set that can display subtitles. In that case, you’ll be able to watch pretty much everything! Find the nearest centre for the deaf in your area. They can be of great assistance. Hearing-impaired licence plates are something they can help you with the process of obtaining. Keep playing the music you enjoy over and over again. Create wonderful memories.
It’s comfortable, right?
Throughout the last few years, I’ve laid the groundwork for my life, believing I can make the best choices for my health and happiness without consulting anybody else.
When I moved to London at age 24, it was a huge leap of faith, but it also had a huge impact on my life. Within that timeframe, I had to locate a new home, plan the relocation, and start my recent work.
And I went from a sleepy little village in the country to the middle of the action in a significant metropolis. Adjusting to the new lifestyle and the increased noise pollution was challenging. When I felt I couldn’t handle it any longer, I sought help from a counsellor, joined a tinnitus support group, and contacted Deaf Unity.
In addition, I saw a private specialist to help me find hearing aids that would meet the challenges of my increasingly active professional and social life.
Even though things were hard, I was able to move closer to my goals, grow personally and professionally, and gain confidence. Most importantly, I figured out how to accommodate my hearing impairment.