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My name is Steve and I have a hearing loss

Something unusual happened in the office last week: I had a conversation with several people about my hearing problems and the aids that I wear.

I’ve never been one to hide my hearing aids, they are there for everyone to see, but I’ve never really talked about them with anyone. Possibly people just weren’t interested or they felt they couldn’t mention them.

Anyway, last week, we were talking about CSI – one of the episodes in which Grissom is suffering from a hearing problem. We looked Grissom up on Wikipedia and found out that he suffered from otosclerosis and someone asked me if that was what I had. I told them about my sensorineural loss and a bit about the problems I have with background noise and localisation and so on.

And the cool thing was: everyone was really interested – it was like they’d been itching to ask but hadn’t dared or found the opportunity to do so.

And now I feel more relaxed about not hearing someone in the office or asking them to repeat themselves. Now that I’ve actually spoken to people I know for sure that they are aware of my problem and they know what’s up if I seem to be ignoring them, talking over them or misunderstanding them. As I’ve already said, I never hide my hearing aids and I rarely have a problem with asking people to repeat themselves but knowing for sure that other people know has made the situation a whole lot easier to deal with.

How do you let other people know about your hearing problem? Do you hide it? Wait for them to notice your aids or do you let it be know as soon as possible?