Hearing management

Posted by: HEIDI | 2003/12/04



Hi, When I was still very young, the school informed my parents that I had a hearing problem. They didn't do much about it until I was about 16. I was then taken to the doctor and was given a hearing aid - behind the ear one. I was however, to shy to wear this and never wore it. I finished matric and my hearing problem was again picked up by my then employer and I got another hearing aid - in the ear, but I was still too shy to wear it. I also felt that the hearing aid didn't really help as there were too much noise. My ears apparently too small to wear the very small in the ear hearing aid. My hearing loss is now really getting worst. I am now 26. I also get pains in my ears during the evenings when I try to sleep and only when I turn on the ear with the pain, it will go away. I can only hear people talk when they look at me and I am scared that my hearing would go away all together. This is a very sensitiv issue for me and I hate admitting that I've got a hearing problem. I was wondering if I could get some operation and why all people can't wear the very small in the ear hearing aid.

Expert's Reply


Hearing Expert

Hi Heidi,

The size of the hearing aid is always dependant on the size and shape of the ear and ear canal. The bigger the ear canal the deeper the small hearing aid goes into the ear and in so doing be more inconspicious. The smaller the ear canal the bigger it seems because the space in the ear canal is limited and the aid can not be that small and cannot go in that deep. Thus it seems bigger.

Also the very small hearing aids can only amplify up to a certain level thus if your hearing loss is very severe the small hearing aid will not be strong enough.

The biggest problem you are facing now is that the ear that has the hearing loss has probably undergone a loss of understanding of words. The longer you go without stimulation of the ear the more understanding you lose. You need to wear a hearing aid as soon as possible before your ear cannot understand any sound anymore. You can also experience deterioration in the ear and lose more sound and understanding.

There is no reason for you to feel embarressed about wearing a hearing aid. It is the same as wearing glasses. If the hearing aid helps you improve your quality of life then it is definitely worth it.

If you do not wear the hearing aid the lack of hearing can seem like a cognitive problem as well as a like a lack of interest from yourself and could affect your work efficiency, self image as well as confidence. Don't you think that if wearing a hearing aid could improve all of this that it is worth it?

Please consult your ENT specialist re: the pain in your ear. Please consult your hearing care professional as soon as possible.

Feel free to contact me should you want info on ENT's or Audiologists in your area.


Chantél Booysen - Audiologist

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: RoOzTeReTTe | 2004/05/20

I am 22 years old. I was born deaf. My both parent are hearing. I had been lack of wearing hearing aids. I has been shy to wear them in my all whole life. I love to hear a sound. I am not happy being deaf myself. I want to be hearing. I have a hard time to be shy when I am wearing aids. My boyfriend is hearing. He wanted me to hear. He said, "Just ignore what the people think about your aids. It doesn't matter it can help you to hear." My mom said, "It's same as glasses wear. No matter what the people think about your aids. You are still beautiful." I has a glasses. I had been look at my ear with aids what it alike. I didnt like the size of BTE. It's bigger for me. I always want to have a small BTE cause people would not see what i am wear. I have a long hair. When the summer season. It's hot outside. I have to wear a ponytail or something cool hairdresser my hair. I am afraid to wear them in public place. I am trying to be brave. I has been denying about being deaf in hearing world. They thought I am hearing without hearing aids. I want you to help me to be brave to wear them in public place. I love to hear any sound. I always wish to listening my dad's tape of band. My all family are hearing. I have 1 deaf cousin. He has a cochlear implant.

Thanx Ya!

Reply to RoOzTeReTTe
Posted by: Gazza | 2004/01/12

Hi Heidi,

Gee, reading your e-mail is almost like reading a script I'd written a year or so back.

I've been in the EXACT same situaton, my hearing has deteriorated to an extent where, like you, if someone isn't looking at me when they talk, I cannot 'hear' them. I never realisedit, but what happens is you teach yourself to lipread, so take the lips away, and no understanding!!

But on a more serious note, regarding hearing aids ....I understand you 100% when u say u are too shy to wear the aids, and I was no different. I tried the behind the ear ones, the in the ears ones, allof them! And like you, none helped because the other sounds were too loud. In fact, it wouldn't surpise me if u have a similar hearing loss to me, a high pitch loss.

Anyways, that all changed recently, my audiologist has done some groundbreaking work, trying methods never used before. To cut a long story short, I now wear an ín the ear' aid, and I haven't been this happy for a long time.

At the end of the day,u need to face up to the reality that u have a hearing loss, and an aid could possibly help you.

Like you, I HATED hearing aids and what they looked like. And as a result, any aid I tried, could never have worked, because I didn't want it!! But I reralise that that attitude has to change,and give things a chance.

I encourage you to give a hearing aid a chance, try one for a few weeks, you will be amazed at what u hear and experience.

If you'd like to get in touch with me, ask questions, find out who my audiologist is, and just general things u might like to know, mail me at I'm more than willing to share my experience with you.



Reply to Gazza

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