I have had hearing problems now since I was about 8 years old. First it was typical glue ear which I had Gromits fitted for. But it has never improved and when I was about 14 I was told I needed hearing aids at this stage in my life I struggled with them and ended up wearing them for about 10 mins.
From that point I coped - not very well but I have basic lip reading skills and alongside that I can hear sounds so I use a lot of guesswork using sounds and lip movements combined. But a couple of years ago I began to suffer chronic ear infections, which consist not just of pain /throbbing /popping eardrums but I get gunky discharge / pus leaking from my ears. After a couple of these horrible and gross ear infections my other half and the kids had noticed I was struggling more with day to day noises and communication. So it was back to my local ENT department.
Slowly over the past couple of years I have become more accustomed to wearing them and even make the odd joke about them - mainly how i can lower the volume when the kids get noisy or take them out when in an argument. And now I am at the stage where I panic when I have to cope without them, it is such a struggle and for this reason my batteries are my best friend. I have spare packs of batteries everywhere in case I hear the dreading warning beep in my ear.
I still haven't got much further with the ENT dept - I had a scan which did show some moderate disease in my left ear canal, so on the 26th November 2012 I underwent a minor op to have a T-tube put in. This is like a gromit but more permanent and bigger. I would like to say this has helped but since the operation I have had nothing but pain and gunk. So its back to the drawing board with docs and hospital appointments. Watch this space.....
Just to clarify -
I am not properly deaf - the correct term for me is Hard of Hearing (HOH). There are 6.6% of the population between the ages of 6-60 who have a hearing loss. (RNID website) So I am not alone in my predicament. And I would be really interested in meeting other people in my age group who suffer like me - especially those with families. I should really look for support groups in my area and online... (I can sense another post coming on this in the near future.)