What it’s like to be half deaf.


Olivia Cooper, Writer

I’ve recently found out that I have significant hearing loss in my right ear, it’s something I was most likely born with. Though I’ve only found out more recently, it’s been a pretty difficult thing to deal with.

Finding out about it was kind of a long process. It was really only a long process because of all of the appointments. The day I found out there was a lot of basic hearing tests. Like the stuff they do at school, raising your hand for a beep and such. There were also a lot of other tests, like one’s where I didn’t do anything. I’d say that took a good forty-five minutes to an hour. After that was when the doctor discussed the results with my mother and I. That’s when we learned I had significant hearing loss in my right ear.

I’d had troubles with my right ear for quite some time. I noticed that I had a hard time hearing people if they were on that side of me, that it was harder to hear out of the earbud on that side, things like that. (To elaborate, if someone like a teacher is talking, I can hear them usually just fine, because their voice projects and my other ear picks it up. If someone is just talking to me or someone around me, I have a harder chance of hearing the conversation if they aren’t facing me or on my left side.) I just didn’t really think much of it, because it was something I’d dealt with for so long. I’d also had a lot of ear infections, especially in that ear, before finding that out. After finding out, it was really kind of weird. The reason for me not being able hear sometimes and the reason for ear problems finally clicked after I found out. There were some other things my mother pointed out to me, such as why it’s hard for me to tell the difference between how some letters sound, why I can’t say some things correctly and so on. They were all because I couldn’t ever hear them properly.

Then there’s the whole thing of wearing a hearing aid. I’m not really worried about wearing it, I’m more worried about me losing it because they’re so small nowadays. Though, it probably will be a bit of a pain to wear. Part of me wonders what kinds of things I’ll hear when I get it. Stepping away from the topic of hearing aids for a minute, My type of hearing loss is rarer than the normal. Both of a person’s ears have two types of a frequencies in them, high and low. The high frequencies are closer to the outside of a person’s ear, so normally a person would lose those first if they were to have hearing loss. The lower frequencies are deeper in your ear, which makes a person less likely to lose them first. I lost my lower frequencies first, which as previously stated, is different from the normal.

Hearing loss is something that isn’t curable, even if it was I’m sure it’d be overpriced. Even so, it’s something a lot of people have to deal with and I’m one of them. The hardest thing about all of this is probably just letting it sink in. It’s really weird to realize that I can’t hear fully. It’s probably that way for most people who have some sort of problem they never realized. I think it’ll just take a lot of time to fully register and sink in.