I went to the ENT Dr. on Thursday. My co-workers have been making comments lately that my hearing isn't great. My left hear has been bothering me for years, but I've been diagnosed with a patch-less Eustachian tube. The previous doctor I went to said there was nothing they can do for my left ear. Basically I can hear my own voice and my breath when I breathe through my nostrils, and not much else. It's very annoying. So I figured I'd go to a different doctor and see if he had a different opinion. He looked at my ears and said that yes, I did have a patch-less Eustachian tube and that there is nothing that can be done for that, but that I should have a hearing test. After being in a tight closed box and wearing the annoying head set, the answer: I need hearing aids. Especially for work.
I was a bit shocked. He said that my hearing loss has nothing to do with my cleft, my tubes, or anything like that. I have nerve loss. ( like sensory neural loss?? I kind of got lost in the medical jargon) I'm not quite sure what that means. I'm still adjusting to the idea. I figured he would said something like, we can operate on your left ear and close up the patch? I'm not a doctor. So when they said aids, I went blank. The audiologist was talking to me about the differences in aids and prices (2 to 3 grand an ear)... I guess I really can't hear very well. The fact that my co-workers resort to tossing rubber coasters at my head or scare me when they've been in my cubicle...it just didn't register. I work in a processing center. Chit chat is frowned upon. We are encouraged to be quiet. For a person with hearing loss, that can be nice unless someone needs your attention. For the most part, I do my work and it hasn't been an issue, but I don't always understand what my coworkers are saying and I guess it is a bigger problem then I thought. I need to call my insurance because they said hearing testing and aids are paid for up to 2,000 an ear, but it sounds like I have to pay for it first and then be reimbursed. It's a bit daunting, but it helps to know that there is truly a problem.
My son has struggled with hearing issues for years, but it's been due to a rare disorder and his ears are perfectly fine, just that the cells inside of his ears form extreme amounts of debris and they get clogged easily. If we keep the ears clean he has perfect hearing. We started using the Neti Pot for his sinusitis and that seems to be helping too!
In the mean time I'm more aware of people around me and stay focused on lips. I have practiced lip reading for years, so I guess it will come in handy until I figure out the whole hearing aid thing. Golly!