Since my residual hearing thresholds have always been above 90 db (with a nosedive off the audiogram) I’ve always been considered “unaidable.” However, I wore hearing aids for a long time.
How can a person who is “unaidable” benefit from hearing aids? Apparently it’s possible and I can testify to that! 🙂
The way my audiologist has explained it is that they can pound sound into my ears but it’s to a degree where it creates more disortation than benefit and it also creates vibrations. I never knew the difference because that was the only thing I ever knew in terms of hearing.
After I got my first implant a couple of years ago I decided to see if I had any residual hearing in that ear by trying my hearing aid out (oftentimes, surgery destroys all of your residual hearing). Turns out I have veryyyy little residual hearing left in the implanted ear but it’s so small that it’s not even a sure thing if I actually have any or not.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that even though I wasn’t really hearing anything with the hearing aid that I could still pick up general environmental sounds and the general beats of music. Turns out I was only feeling those sounds via the vibration through my earmolds (hearing aids processes sounds and then delivers them through the earmold to your ear). To this day I could probably put my hearing aid on in the implanted ear and still be able to tell you if the phone was ringing or if someone was knocking on the door…but it would only be through vibrations and not hearing per sec.
So yeah, apparently for 20+ years…..when I thought I was hearing through hearing aids…I was mostly just “feeling” the sounds. Somehow I learned to identify some sounds through vibrations only. I could pick up some sounds without vibrations and through amplifications of my hearing aids. However, the majority of what I was picking up was mostly just through vibrations.
It took me a while to realize what hearing was like because the majority of my experience had been “hearing through feeling vibrations.”
No wonder I was caught so off guard when my CI was activated. Hopefully the second time around will be a bit less……..traumatic. 😉