Tag Archives: deaf

New Hearing Aid Blues

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New hearing aids? It’s supposed to be an exciting time but it’s usually full of discomfort and adjustment. I recently blogged about switching to Phonak water resistant behind the ear hearing aids. When I got them, we programmed them and I took them home. New hearing aids usually make the world sound foreign and strange, so I was prepared for that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that the hearing aids weren’t reducing background noise. This is the main benefit of my previous hearing aids- they reduced background noise and amplified conversation. I rode on the subway with the Phonak aids and felt like I was on a rollercoaster. The machinery noises overpowered the conversation of my friends and I felt out of place. At the movies, the new hearing aids did amplify sound well and I think I was able to hear better. Otherwise, the Phonak aids weren’t going to work for my everyday life because most of life revolves around conversation and talking. 

Another issue was the placement of the hearing aid behind the ear. I thought they were going to be like my old hearing aids when I was young. These aids went all the way behind the ear and were kind of long. The Phonak aids were short and sat almost on top of my ear. I had gotten them in a clear color which I thought was going to look really cool- see through, yeah! But it looked weird sitting on top of my ear. So I’m getting them re-cased in black so they’ll blend in with my hair. After that, we’re going to re-program them and see if we can improve the sound experience. I really want to like the new hearing aids, and I really want them to work for my life. Until, then I’ve got my trusty Widex ones to hold me over. Maybe one day I’ll invest in these amazing iPhone compatible aids that are soon to be released. These utilize the iPhone as the transmitter- no intermediaries or neck loops needed. Very cool!!!

What have been your experiences when getting new hearing aids? How have you managed the transition?

P.S. Grad school has taken over my life, but I don’t want to let this blog fade away. Hopefully I’ll be posting more soon.

 

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My Eyes

visual field test results
Visual field test results from early 2013

This blog has been a long time coming. I originally set up my WordPress site in January 2012. It was a New Year’s resolution that didn’t get further than that. I think I got stuck because I was afraid to share my story. I wasn’t ready. A lot has changed since then. So let’s dive right in.

Recently, I had a visual field test done for my Usher Syndrome (more about that in the About section). This was done at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth & Adults on Long Island.

I can’t really explain how it feels to look at a picture of your eyes and see circles that are mostly black. I knew I was losing vision, but I guess I never wanted to really think that I was going blind. I’m holding on to some central vision and some patches of peripheral, but it doesn’t seem like much. I have approximately 10 degrees of vision (out of a possible 180). Life seemed pretty terrible that morning, and I definitely didn’t want to go back to work after that appointment. But I did. And life will go on. And this blog is part of my way to deal with it all.

I navigate New York City, hold down a great full-time job, work on my own non-profit on the side, and soon I’m going back to school for my MPH. I don’t want to stop pursuing my dreams, EVER. I hope to take you on the journey with me. I want to share my experience in the hope that it will help others and keep me going.