Last May, I was tested and fitted for hearing aids at a HearingLife location in Westfield, NJ. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect after my appointment or how much of an impact my new hearing aids would have on my life, but as soon as I left the center, I was amazed at how big of a difference my hearing aids made.
When I left the HearingLife center and began walking to my car, I noticed that everything was amplified, from the cars that drove by to the strange buzzing noise that the traffic light made. After years of never noticing these sounds, it felt like I had bionic hearing. When I turned on my car, the radio was blaring, and I had to turn down the volume. I couldn’t believe how loud I had the music playing in my car before receiving my new hearing aids.
When I arrived home, I walked through the kitchen then noticed another new sound I had never heard before, a humming sound. It was my refrigerator, and it may not be the most pleasant sound for most people, but to me it was beautiful. All the years I lived in my house I never knew that my refrigerator made noise. It seemed like the whole world around me was opening up thanks to my new hearing aids.
That same evening my daughter and I decided to watch a movie together. When I turned on the television and adjusted the volume to the right level my daughter said, “Dad, are you kidding me? You can hear that?” I said, “I hear it as clear as day.” She then responded, “Can you please lower your hearing aids? I can barely hear it.” Her response was the most beautiful sound of all.
After the movie, my family went to sleep, but I stayed awake for an hour longer. When I finally went to sleep, I walked through the kitchen to put my glass in the dishwasher. I couldn’t believe how much noise I was making! I didn’t realize prior to my new hearing aids, but I now finally understood the comments from my family in the morning about the loud noises downstairs at night.
The next morning, I got ready for work and then headed to my office. Every noise, even the small and significant had a distinct sound that I was not aware of. From the key in the doorknob of my office to the tapping of my laptop keys, everything had a unique noise. Later, when a patient and I were speaking, we were interrupted by a “ding, ding, ding” coming from the railroad crossing. I had never heard the sound before, even when the windows were open. It was absolutely incredible.
Sound is a beautiful thing. Although I am not the type of person who looks back with regret, but rather looks forward with gratitude, I do wish I had addressed my hearing loss years earlier. Do yourself a favor. Don’t delay. If you suspect you may be hard of hearing, do something about it.