hearing in background noise—and some fall photos

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 A couple of people have asked me how I am now coping with listening in background noise.  The answer has to be miles better than before but not as well as I hope it will be. 

At work I can deal with background noise from the machinery and air conditioning. Before they were intrusive, the noise from them was overwhelming and tiring, having to listen over the noises. Now, I barely notice them.  We have some construction going on on the same floor, major stuff with demolition and drilling. This is just in the background. It’s there but it doesn’t interfere with my listening2009_10_03 heron

Last weekend we went to a house warming do at a neighbours house.  Most of the people were gathered on a covered deck at the back of the house, (overlooking the river – very lovely). The roof was tin and so extra echoey. It was very hard to hear but I could make out a few words and so could cope. I think I coped better than most of the middled aged people there- judging by the craned necks and tilted heads. Again this was much better than before. With my HAs it would have been impossible and the level of noise would have been painful and distressing. We didn’t stay long, I’m out of the habit of social chit chat and didn’t really know what to say to people.2009_10_ 03 river road

In the cafeteria at work we sit on a long table for maybe 8 or 10 people. Pre CI I just used to sit and eat. Occasionally a thoughtful and informed person would tell me what people were talking about. Mostly I just sat and ate. Now I can join in, as long as there aren’t too many people talking and they aren’t too far away. I try to sit so that the others are on my CI side, otherwise it’s pretty much impossible to hear someone on the HA side. When there is a group of 4 or so then it’s not really that difficult. The CI deals much better with the background noise from the fridges and serving equipment. 2009_10_03 canada geese

I find it hard to filter out all the extra noises I am hearing.  For example the people at the next table in the cafeteria.  If I hear a voice then I don’t expect it to be someone behind me, or in another group so I often ask the people I am with what they said, when they haven’t spoken.  I will get used to this though, it just takes time.

2009_10_03 maple leaf

Voices are begining to sound richer and more real, though each time I get a new map then some more squawks are introduced and my brain needs to accommodate them.

I can recognise individual voices when people are reasonably close to me, say 3 or 4 feet but further away then they become more electronic.2009_10_03  riverOne of the delights of the CI is that when I get home my first action isn’t ripping my hearing aids out. How I hated those things, so noisy, so tiring, so painful. Every noise an assault, but an assault that you grab out for simply because you want to participate in life. Now, when my CI battery runs out I change it, I wear my CI from getting up to going to bed.

This morning I went out for a walk and took these photos. I wore my CI so that I could hear and enjoy the quiet of the river.2009_10_03 gazebo

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6 responses »

  1. Some great pics Mog – autumn can be so beautiful. Its getting that way here too – though I’ve not taken any pix yet.
    Interesting to see that you wear a HA as well as your CI – I wasn’t sure if I would or not. Does the HA not interfere with your CI rehab? Or, eg in the restuarant, would you switch your HA to cut out the background noise and just use your CI? Questions, questions!
    I know what you mean re social chitchat – I rarely go out socially as I miss too much of what is being said and when I do make out something, the conversation has gone way ahead of my possible response. Perhaps wrong, but I tend to avoid those situations rather than come out more frustrated then when I went in!

    • I thought I had blogged about wearing both HA and CI but I can’t find it anywhere.

      My audiologist says that the HA deals with the low frequencies better than the CI would and so having both on gives a richer sound. The CI is dominant though, and the HA gives me environmental sounds on the left side, with some speech etc. I do have the HA turned down now and am planning on getting it adjusted so that it only concentrates on the low frequencies. Without it trying to amplify the high stuff I think it should give a better sound. Funnily enough the HA isnt intrusive when I have my CI on, when the CI battery goes and I am left with the HA it becomes too much again. Clever things brains are.

  2. I love your pics of the fall colors! Florida may lack a winter, but it also lacks a fall too! Id like to relocate to at least north Georgia because even there, it gets cool enough to see some pretty colors and I can always hike up the mountains and see more colors. My top choice is Pennsylvania because it’s the most affordable to live there.

    You have cochlear dead regions in the high frequencies, same as me. I found that my speech does not improve at all with my HAs programmed above 600Hz and that the mid frequencies are uncomfortable. No problem with the lows. As for background noise, it drowns anything less loud, including voices.

  3. Once again, very interesting to read of the new developments in your post CI world. I’m in awe of the progress – isn’t technology amazing. And talking of wonderful technology, your new camera takes stunning pics! Love the red maple!

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