I have good hearing days and bad hearing days. Today was a good day, I had a conversation with someone who was a fair distance away across our open-plan office – I heard them easily and I realised that I’m not often able to understand them at that distance. I don’t think my ability to hear fluctuates from day to day but there’s definitely good spells and then not so good ones.
When you have a hearing loss and understanding conversation is a common struggle then the little drops in hearing ability can make a big difference to your communication. To your mood too, I’m definitely happier and more talkative when I’m more easily in the conversation.
I don’t think it’s my actual hearing that is fluctuating, I think it’s other things like how tired I am, if I’m more awake and alert then I concentrate more on the conversation. Tiredness makes my tinnitus worse too, which definitely makes a difference. Getting sweaty ears – I’ve noticed I hear less after I’ve been for a run or played football. If I’ve got some wax in or around my aids – even a small bit can tip me from just about hearing someone to not quite being able to. And batteries too, I’m not sure if I’m imagining this one but I’m sure that the volume my aids are producing dips on occasions just before the batteries are about to die. Seems like there’s a lot of little variables that make a difference.
One thing that causes a huge problem is catching a cold. A cold is annoying for everyone – for me the sniffles and headaches are nothing compared to having to get through a week of hearing even less.
Of course differing levels of background noise will make an obvious difference, but I think there’s much more to it than that. I notice my good and bad days in the office where the noise levels are pretty constant. It’s all the little things.