Hearing management

07 October 2004

Marissa - the seventh month

I must say, I find myself getting quite impatient. I realise I was expecting everything to run very smoothly, probably too smoothly.

I must say, I find myself getting quite impatient. I realise I was expecting everything to run very smoothly, probably too smoothly. Every time I thought that everything was now sorted out, something else pops out of the woodwork.

The latest earpieces have caused a few problems. I initially thought I just had to get used to them, but they hurt my ears. I suspect my skin is oversensitive to the material from which they are made. Now I'm back to my previous earpieces. They seem to be working better for me. Every now and then I take them out and let my ears dry out, especially in this hot weather.

The problem definitely does not lie with the Widex apparatus. They are wonderful aids and I definitely derive a lot of benefit from them, but it's my ears that don't want to co-operate and this is busy making me feel quite frustrated.

Possibilty of implants>
For that reason I have begun to enquire about implants. These will enable me to hear continuously without earpieces in my ears. It may be the solution. But it's a long process and very expensive and I will only know in time whether I am a suitable candidate for this procedure and whether I can get the funding together for this.

It's wonderful that there are so many aids for deaf people that make it possible for them to become part of the hearing world. It's just such a pity that these are unaffordable for most people. I am sure there are so many deaf people that would benefit from cochlear implants, but it's simply not within their reach.

Hearing aids make me part of the action
At least I have had the privilege to be able to use hearing aids with which I can hear sounds in the immediate environment. When I can use them, they make a huge difference to my life. I try never to go out without the hearing aids, because it makes me feel part of a group even when I cannot understand everything they say. I can still hear the sounds and feel connected to them, because I can tell whether they are happy, serious or sad. And this makes a big difference to me. I also wear the hearing aids when I go to work, so that I can hear when a client is talking to me when I am busy working. I then know that I should look up and do some lip reading. Without the hearing aids I would not have known that someone was talking to me if I was not looking directly at them.

Who knows, perhaps my ears will get used to the hearing aids in time and there might come a time when I will be able to wear them all day and hear all day. It is quite frustrating at the moment just to be able to hear for part of the time. But I am extremely grateful for the times that I can hear and the wonderful thing is that I do have the hearing aids so that I can use them when I need them. I am also very grateful for the speech therapy.

Carina is planning to test my hearing shortly while I am wearing hearing aids to see what difference they are making. I will keep you updated.


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Hearing Expert

Francis Slabber is a Speech & Language Therapist and Audiologist who has owned and run The Hearing Clinic in Wynberg, Cape Town for the last 17 years. Francis and her team have extensive experience in fitting and supplying hearing aids as well as assistive living devices. Francis has served as the Western Cape Chairperson for the South African Association of Audiologists for three years and has given many talks on the topic of hearing loss and amplification. The Hearing Clinic has a special interest in adult and geriatric hearing impairment, hearing aid fittings and hearing rehabilitation.

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