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Hearing Aids that Talk Back

Posted Oct 06 2009 12:00am
by kim

I had been admiring the deaf interns ear molds for a couple months.  For those of you who haven’t read my blog in awhile, the deaf intern is an audiology intern at the office I’ve been going to for about thirty years.  This young intern is deaf and he went to Gallaudet, which is really great, because he knows all about the latest hearing aid stuff.  So– he has these ear molds that are about half the size of mine even though his hearing is supposedly worse.  They’re almost like an open fit mold only they fit down tight in the canal.  I had hoped I would be able to wear that kind.   With the hot summer we had, my tubes have been getting clogged up with perspiration.

So last week I finally got my new half-sized molds.  Problem is I’ve lost some minor hearing clarity, which was really OK as far as I was concerned because of the extra comfort of the new molds.  What I didn’t realize was I had turned into an echo chamber.  It drove my daughter nuts when I visited her last week.  “Mom?  What’s going on with your aids?!  I can hear everything I’m saying to you, and it’s coming from your head.“   But I just figured she had extra acute hearing ability or something.  No one else mentioned it around here.

But then I went to work.  And switched programs on my aids.  Each time I switch to a program it scrolls through little beeps and ditties to let me know which program I’ve switched to.  I switched to the one that goes– “na-nee-nee”  while talking to a coworker and she started laughing.  “Hey– what was that?!  You’re sounding electronic or something.”

I explained that I switched a program while talking to her.  Whoa!  She was impressed!  You’ve got PROGRAMS? she asks.  Hearing people are always amazed by the stuff I stick in my ears and around my neck.  Yeah– I’m wearing some awesome high tech aids, with several programs and bluetooth (which I never use, but didn’t say because I wanted to impress her.)  Then I showed her the zebra striped design.  “OOOOOooooo, pretty,” she says looking envious.

I love living in the 21st century.  Who would’ve ever though being deaf could be so cool.

But anyway, due to the sounds coming from my aids I’ve gone back to the regular huge molds that fill up the entire ear.  Working in a library, I thought maybe the noise created by my aids wouldn’t be welcome.

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