I recently wrote about how humorous the aging process is becoming. Here I am at the tender, but not so young, age of 55 and my vision is going, I have scoliosis, a bum foot, no teeth a growing bald spot and I now have another malady to throw on my human drama: my hearing! I knew that I have been straining a little bit to hear lately and when I went to the doc for my last sinus infection visit, I told him I would like to see if I am indeed losing some hearing. Last Wednesday I went to an audiologist and got tested. Here is what they told me:
I have a sensorineural hearing loss! The inner ear is called the cochlea. Lining the cochlea are tiny hair cells. On the tip of these hair cells are nerve endings. When sound enters the cochlea, these hair cells are set in motion and the vibration stimulates the nerve endings, which then sends the message to the brain. If these hair cells have been damagedd, the nerve endings cannot be stimulated and the brain will not hear the sounds. Damage to the hair cells may occur from excessive noise exposure, certain drugs, trauma or aging! Another common name for this hearing loss is nerve damage. This type of hearing loss is permanent, but often can be helped with amplification (hearing aides).
I was asked if I was ready to go that route and since my hearing loss is just beginning I asked if I could wait a bit longer on this issue. They told me of course. I just hope I will not develop a stubborn streak like so many other or older persons I know who really need the ear devices and refuse to get them. I also understand that many people cannot afford to get them and I was shocked to hear (pardon the pun) that they can cost thousands! So…..I am not there yet! But money will never be an obstacle.