Lianne Herbert: Ten things hearing people don’t know about hearing aids

Posted on December 14, 2016

  • They are not a handsfree device

I’ve forgotten to tell you that I’m a spy. Yes, I’m a spy and I need to wear my hearing aids to talk to others discreetly or have someone screaming in my ears on what to do next….

  • They are not for you to blow in to

Especially when they’re in the person’s ears. I remember one incident clearly when I was 15 and on a public bus. Two immature adults decided to blow in to my hearing aids. I didn’t know what to do as I’ve never been taught how to handle a situation like this. Fortunately they stopped when another guy turned round and watched them as these immature guys found it hilarious.

  • They are not cheap

If I had all the money in the world I would have them in many colours to accessorise my outfits like jewellery. I sometimes get fed up of wearing the same ones all the time. Imagine having the same meal for every time you need to eat?

  • We wear them to please you

Yes so that we do all the hard work to accommodate your needs, by speaking and listening. You don’t need to learn sign language or have deaf awareness skills as:

  • Hearing aids give us superpowers

Yes with hearing aids we see subtitles coming out of your mouth or an interpreter projected near you so that we can ‘read’ what you’re saying.

  • We get upgrades once in a blue moon

The NHS are very reluctant in upgrading my hearing aids. Especially when I wore the same analogue hearing aids for 13 years. As soon as I moved to a major city I got an upgrade..! I guess it depends where you live then.

  • I secretly like getting my ear moulds done

In the old days it took ages for ear moulds to be made. I remember chewing on the left over material or shaping it into a ball (I was very young to chew on it!) I remember the pleasure I got from having my ears filled up with goo to slowly harden to form an impression of my ears. Ooo that foam on a string being pushed down your ear canal before it all started. (Shudders).

  • They don’t come with umbrellas

The amount of times I’m always conscious of what I’m wearing as British weather is so unpredictable means I wear hooded items. When I think it won’t rain and it does I run for shelter. Not because I’m vain and worried about my hair (although sometimes I am!) it’s because of the waiting list time to get them fixed.

  • You can’t just walk in to any hospital and get them repaired

There’s been a couple of times my hearing aids have given up on me and I’ve had to ring, RING I SAY! The audiologist department to book an appointment. ‘Three weeks’ is the response. How an earth am I going to survive till then?!

  • They are not just for old people

Hearing aids are for people in all shapes and sizes who wish to take part in the hearing world because a) they have to b) they are forced to for whatever reason or c) people around them don’t know other communication methods like sign language. Some people squirm at the idea of babies wearing hearing aids but sometimes it’s necessary if you want the child to get used to them or their deafness has been detected early.

I hope I’ve given you another perspective on hearing aids in a slightly sarcastic way at times!

Lianne Herbert is a deaf professional writer. Lianne is also on a Copywriting course to enhance her freelance prospects. She is currently involved with the West Yorkshire Playhouse on a Playwright course.

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