Friday, April 27, 2012

Hearing, Seeing et al

So it's official.  I have to get a hearing test, and I know I've had more loss since five or six years ago, which is about when I had my last exam.  My tinnitus has become worse, as has my alternating noise sensitivity with not hearing so well.

I was about to say that the most obnoxious part of this is not being able to hear clearly when people speak.  Many times, one word sounds like another.  I have to ask people to repeat things quite often.  And I can't hear dialog on t.v.  It annoys my family.  But then, noise sensitivity kicks in and I have to ask David to turn the t.v. down.  I have to ask anyone talking near me to please pretend I have a hangover.  Things like fire alarms are excruciating.  Meanwhile, the constant high pitch running through each year harmonizes cacophonously with the regular sounds of the day.  Once in awhile, the ringing turns to a hum and goes solo, moving from one ear to the other like my head is some kind of stereo.  I understand why Van Gogh cut his ear off.  I bet it didn't help, though.  You'd have to gouge your eardrum out to get rid of this shit.

I'm not bothered by the idea that I probably will need at least one hearing aid in the near future.  When I got my last exam, the doc told me I had nerve damage.  I couldn't hear low tones very well.  She said it would get worse as I got older, and I'm older now, so here I am.  I've had plenty of time to adjust to the tinnitus and if hearing aids are going to help me regulate my hearing, I'm all for them.  Plus, the new ones are barely visible, so my vanity won't be compromised.  I'll just have to get used to having something in my ears, which I think will be easier to adjust to than having something over my eyes and on my face like, say, glasses.

I wear glasses when I am on the computer and sometimes when I am reading.  I wear them when I am driving at night.  But I won't wear them in the day unless I have to read street signs or unless I want to wear my sunglasses, which seem to improve my nearsightedness even though they aren't prescription like my real glasses.  Having something on my face in my peripheral vision is annoying as crap.  Besides, my vision isn't that bad.  I can see where I am going.  I can see someone down the hall (though I won't recognize who it is right away and facial features are fuzzy).  I can see other cars and birds and stop signs and traffic lights and things like that, but the detail starts to get impressionistic after about fifty feet, and words aren't clear after about twenty feet.  I'm guessing on this one because I am not sure what fifty feet looks like, exactly.  If a bus stops, I give it lots of room in case my calculations are off.  This is not to say you should worry about me on  the road.  I'm not blind or a danger to society.

Once I tried contacts, but it wasn't very successful.  I kept feeling like I had an eyelash in my eye, and I kept tearing up.  It could have been the kind of contact I tried, so on my next exam, I might talk to the doc about using another type even if my astigmatism isn't completely corrected.  It would be nice to see better, but not at the expense of being annoyed.  There are enough annoying things in life without adding to the mix.

I think it would be cool to get color contacts--not blue or anything falsely pretty like that.  I'd like to get the ones they call "black out," the lenses with no pupils.  Your eyes look pure black.  It would be fun to creep people out, at least certain people.  In all probability, I'd chicken out, though, because the reality is, I mostly like to disappear in crowds.  If I'm walking by a stranger, I don't feel like figuring out whether or not to say hi.  Sun glasses are great because I can check out the situation without feeling like I'm staring at the person, wondering if s/he is sociable.  Usually, I just smile to cover myself, but I like the sunglasses.  They make me feel like I've got privacy.  That probably sounds weird.

Anyway, I hope I can get an appointment relatively soon because if there is something this doc can do about my ears, I would be very grateful.  Hearing is a gift, and so are hearing aids.  There are times when I really appreciate technology as more than a vehicle for blogging.
Post a Comment