13 October, 2006

I Really Don't Want To Admit This Because My Parents Occasionally Read My Blog

I always played my stereo REALLY LOUDLY as a kid. In fact, I expect my comments section to be filled with various siblings' claims of psychic injury upon being forced to listen to showtunes and ABBA at airplane decibles.

And now, at 36, I'm hard of hearing. It's not so bad that I need a hearing aid (yet), but it's the kind of genteel deafness that gets me into trouble. I've especially noticed it at places like Sunday School and Blogger meet-ups, where people are milling with drinks and talking from my peripheral vision.

Most of the time I have to fake hearing by reading lips. Hence the whole "I can't hear you, I don't have my glasses on" absurdity that I go through with Hubs. When I'm in a group of people, it's virtually impossible to read everyone's lips and so half the time I'm sure I look like I'm ignoring someone. Really, I'm not. I just can't hear you.

The other concession I have to make to my growing elderliness is that 99% of the television I watch has to be closed-captioned. (Sorry, honey.) It's a pain, but after several years I've decided it's less intrusive than asking my poor viewing companions to look me directly in the eye and repeat what the actors just said.

This makes for interesting viewing, because sometimes the captions don't match the spoken words. (I can still hear to a degree.) And now, I've run into a problem with this week's Lost. I thought the character's name was "Benjamin Linus", cheifly because that's what the CC said. But now the official story is that it was "Benjamin Lyons". Boom goes my theory about the character being allegorically named for the mythological son of Apollo left to die on a mountainside.

How unfair for ABC to mislead the handicapped. Differently Abled. Stone Deaf. Whatever you call it.


At 11:54 AM, October 13, 2006, Blogger Kerry Woo said...

Kat, I trusting that a new 42" plasma screen TV with surround sound is in your immediate future!

As for myself, I'm wanting a new Honda Element with a prescription windshield.

At 2:08 PM, October 13, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

I hate to admit as well but I've the same problem you do! I frequently miss out of things said in a large group of people, especially if one starts talking low or quietly as not to attract attention. I haven't mastered lip reading yet, though. I also frequently use the CC on the television because I was finding that I was missing key plot points because I couldn't hear what was being said. If you just turn the TV up, it's too loud and obnoxious, plus most of my TV viewing done after the kiddos are in bed and I don't want to bother them. But I find with shows like the CSI's and any medical show, ER and even Grey's, it helps in understanding a lot of the technical jargon that is spewed. But the errors in the CC can be funny and annoying at times.

At 5:19 PM, October 13, 2006, Blogger Donna Locke said...

Our world is so loud now that hearing loss is occurring at younger and younger ages. Our ears are not made for this current world. Songbirds can replace their inner ear/hearing cells in a matter of hours. When humans lose their sensitive inner ear cells to loud noise or age, those cells are gone forever. They do not regenerate. You are born with only so many of those cells; those are all you will have. Humans generally lose the high-frequency cells first.

Some people have more sensitive ears than others and are more susceptible to damage from loud noise, but we are all susceptible. Some antibiotics and other medications can damage and destroy the hearing cells. Before you take a medication, read up on it and its side effects in The Pill Book.

Hearing aids cannot replace what is missing: the sounds you can no longer hear because the high-frequency or other cells are dead. Hearing aids can only amplify what you can still hear at some level. Sometimes hearing loss is due to conduction, not cell, problems. That type of loss can be fixed.

I have always been one to complain about high decibel levels, much to my children's embarrassment. I've walked into the projection room at movie theaters and told 'em to turn it down. I've walked out of the theater when they didn't. When I was a child, the sound volume in theaters was much lower. Today, I know movie theaters are damaging our kids' hearing.

I am a major music fan, but after attending a loud Steppenwolf concert in Nashville in 1970, I never went to another rock concert. I knew my ears couldn't take it. Even earplugs will not protect you, as some concert goers have found out. I bet the original members of Steppenwolf are like The Who now and can barely hear.

The symphony can be just as loud. Many classical musicians and conductors have lost their hearing.

Many, many musicians in the Nashville area have hearing loss. I'd like to see The Tennessean do a big story about this sometime and warn our young people.

Turn it down, and be careful about using headphones, especially for long periods of time. Damage to your ears can be sudden or cumulative. Hear me now, or you won't hear me later.

At 5:55 PM, October 14, 2006, Anonymous tom said...

So the loud stereo was your Waterloo, as it were...

I had to crack an ABBA joke. I liked Donna's comment about the overabundance of hearing loss. I think I've also heard that someone envisions future class action suits against apple for iPods causing hearing loss.

That's actually not that far-fetched.

I think hearing loss in the industrialized world is probably inevitable. I think everyone should get hearing tests periodically.

At 10:53 PM, October 14, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

I can't hear very well either, so it's not just you, Kat.

Oh, and Donna- the loudness in movie theaters is the primary reason I don't see many, if any, movies nowadays. It literally hurts my ears.

At 2:34 PM, October 15, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

Mine too, Ivy. The last time I went I was just waiting for the movie to be over. I don't understandt the need for it to be painfully loud.

At 9:39 AM, October 16, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

DH and I are only 24 and we close-caption all movies. it's because they mumble so quietly, so you turn the volume WAAAY up to catch what they're saying...and then inevitably in the next scene you are blasted out of your seat becaues of some soaring song from the score, or thunderous action sound effects. grrrr...one of my pet peeves.

it also drives me crazy when the words aren't exactly the same :)


Post a Comment

<< Home