We all know how technology these days have skyrocketed, even over the last 5-10 years, and continues to do so. So compared to 1980s and ‘90s, back then my hearing aids made everything loud and it always sound like wind was blowing by non-stop. I knew that hearing aids provided help to others and that was all great. For me, they gave me headaches and as a kid growing up, it was embarrassing if the hearing aids were not inserted properly, as they would squeal a high-pitch squeal. Because I could not hear them squeal, but everyone else could, I stopped wearing them and I went about my life. I accepted that I couldn’t hear what I couldn’t hear. I accepted what was normal for me. My hearing tests at that time showed the hearing aids helped me somewhat; I could see that on paper, but I honestly then could not notice anything noticeably different by experience. I was told then that the brain that controls hearing was “damaged” in that I lost or didn’t develop ability to hear high pitch sounds. I made the choice to not continue hearing aids.
In 2006 out of nowhere, I experienced a ringing in my right ear. I soon learned from my family doctor at the time that it’s common for people with hearing loss to develop tinnitus. Being in my early 30s, I could not accept that. Why now after all these years, my whole life? So I researched and upon my sister’s advice and recommendation, I saw a chiropractor. I was tying in the ear-ringing to the chronic knots in my right shoulder and neck pain on the right side. With chiropractic help along with massage and acupuncture, I was able to reduce the ringing and learned how to cope with it when it arose. Amazing people and support in helping me, and I thank you and continue to. I believed it was and is all connected whole heartedly. I always did wonder though about my hearing loss being an additional cause.
In September last year, my dad got hearing aids and he, and all of us, noticed an immediate improvement in his hearing. I saw a light in him and it opened my mind to how technology changes so much. My dad, being very tech savvy, shared with me the programs that are tailored to personalized hearing test results. He told me that, in addition to the sizes, shapes and cool features hearing aids have (such as answering the phone through them, tv adapter, music streaming and not having to use headphones etc), it appeared…fun. On top of that, his hearing noticeably improved. But I wasn’t ready to look into it for me just yet. Maybe I didn’t believe yet they could help, but it was always there in the back of my mind. I might have also been afraid to find out the truth and bring my hopes up too high. I realized I wanted to hear the birds, but more so I wanted the ringing to stop.
In February of this year for the first time in years, I had a bad week of ear ringing. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the annoying ringing. Music and exercise and all of my techniques were not helping, and I was stressed. I got desperate even, and asked why this was happening-when I had been feeling I was getting ahead. I wanted and needed to find out if there were other options on top of the chiro, massage, acupuncture, yoga, exercise. 13 years with tinnitus was and is a lot. I was ready to reach out for other kinds of education, support and help.