1. They make my ears sore and itchy no matter how clean they are. They are uncomfortable and annoying to wear. However that may be, they do help with ambient sounds and give me audio clues in many environments, but they aren't perfect.
2. Though they make things louder, they aren't necessarily clearer. I often have to have Fabulous Husband or my friends "help me hear". If someone is talking to me and I don't see them, I'm not aware. If I'm not aware, they may think I'm ignoring them and being rude. Though I lack many social skills, I certainly don't want to appear lacking more than I am.
It's difficult to explain when someone says, "We have headsets and loops that can help". Actually, no, they don't. They aren't loud enough, or clear enough. I have trouble distinguishing what I am hearing. I often find myself asking people around me, "What's that sound?" then try to describe what it is. Because hearing aids don't sound "natural" to me, that's sometimes difficult to do.This is why I have to see your face when you are speaking to me, or why I need captions at events and presentations. Though often I'm told I'm good at lipreading, that isn't always true. There are some people that are unreadable to me. Often, when I meet people, it takes me awhile to get familiar with their "speech patterns" to read them. Reading lips and body language is quite difficult. Try watching tv with the sound off for a couple of hours and you'll understand why after a day of lipreading, I spend the following day "sleeping it off". For a couple of decades now, I've been describing living with hearing loss is like playing Wheel of Fortune every day, all day long. Instead of guessing letters, I'm guessing at words that fit the content of the conversation.
I have to plan my appointments, lunch dates, etc. accordingly and make sure that I don't wear myself out too much in personal social interaction.This is why I've quit teaching Sign Language at the school. While I felt saddened to have had to do that, I am so glad I did. I like a slow, quiet, less-stress lifestyle. Add the fact that I just turned 55 years old this week, I think it's time I learned these things about myself and adjust my life accordingly. It feels really good now that I have.
3. During my last stint at college, I kept getting ill and I lost quite a bit of hearing. I was getting recurring ear infections and couldn't figure out why. My doctor finally figured it out. "How long are you wearing your hearing aids each day". He suggested I try not wearing them more than 5 or 6 hours a day. Guess what... No more ear infections! However, that put a crunch on attending classes and working a 9-5 job.
Apparently the apparatus that can help me hear was also the one causing me to lose my hearing when I wore them too long day after day, regardless how well I kept them clean. I don't wear my hearing aids when I'm at home unless I'm having an in depth conversation with Fabulous Husband.
About a year and a half ago, I tried to get new hearing aids through Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. The first question they asked my audiologist who was calling on my behalf was, "How old is she?" Then, "Does she work?" Then, "When was the last time she worked?"
They said, "No."
It doesn't matter that I volunteered my time all these years, or that I'm a mom with a child and I need to hear when I go to his appointments and functions for school, etc. No. It only matters to them that I work a regular 9-5 job or be attending school to be eligible for hearing aids. I worry about the day these old hearing aids stop working... most people who see them tell me they belong in a museum.
I don't want to have to take a loan out for THOUSANDS of dollars for the kind of technology that will actually help me, only to have them last a few years and then break down.
4. The pressure around my ears when I wear both the hearing aids and glasses hurt after
a while and I can't wait to get home and take everything off and be comfortable. I don't know how people can wear both hearing aids and glasses everyday, all day long. Sometimes the sides of my head hurt so much, I can't lay comfortably on my side to sleep. The first thing I do when I come home is take my "eyes" and "ears" off my face and head and breathe a big sigh of relief.
Those are just a few reasons why I don't like my hearing aids, but... I never leave home without them.