“Did you know that approximately one-third of all folks your age suffers from hearing loss?”
Okay, before you jump on me for being insensitive to those who are hearing impaired, I am one of that one in three.
I also suffer from Tinnitus, which is described as a non-stop ringing in the ears. For me, it’s not a ringing; rather I live in my own private wind storm; there’s a constant hiss that serves as the soundtrack of my life. At times it’s a whisper, sometimes it’s a gale, yet it’s unrelenting. Most likely it’s the result of being a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey from my teens into my thirties. Regrettably, it matters not how I contracted it, it makes itself known from the moment I rise until I fall asleep.
I thought that the unending whisper that accompanied me 24/7 was normal until I heard a public service announcement about it, raising my consciousness to its existence. Turning to my wife, I asked, “What do you hear when it’s silent?”
She looked at me as if I had two noses, perplexed,
“What do you mean, what do I hear when it’s silent? It’s silent. I don’t hear anything.”
“You don’t hear a hiss?”
“No, I don’t hear anything.”
Henceforth, I realized this was not the norm and began pursuing options to rid myself of it.
Although one will see ads for cures on social media and some experts claim that everything from Paxil to microdoses of LSD will alleviate the problem, there is no cure except patience and habituation, just getting used to it.
Once I became aware of my hearing issues, I also realized that I had to turn up the television to a deafening level, needed closed captions to follow the dialog, and annoyed the hell out of my life-partner by repeatedly asking her to speak up. Although vanity delayed me from seeking help, I finally decided that hearing better beat out the need to deny my aging and I was fitted for hearing aids.