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So what if I have hearing loss? I hate pop music anyway

I know what you’re thinking: “I sure wish my hearing would start to go so I’d no longer have to listen to what passes for music these days!”

But hold on . . . hearing loss isn’t as blissful as you might be imagining.

Sure, a decrease in hearing sensitivity helps you ignore the rapid degeneration of modern music as it plunges ever deeper into a cacophonous cesspool of electronic drums and synthesizers.

On the other hand, we depend on our hearing for many of life’s simple pleasures that we often take for granted – like the crackle of a campfire or the gentle lapping of waves against a pebbled beach. Hearing loss can even start to subtly strip us of the things we hold most dear, including our relationships.

Because hearing loss often strikes the high frequencies first, many people start missing soft consonant sounds, meaning words art to ound ike this. Deciphering speech that sounds like a Bob Dylan song takes a tremendous amount of energy, although it occurs so gradually that you likely won’t notice.

Instead, you’ll just feel tired and irritable, avoiding conversations as much as possible and, eventually, retreating into social isolation.

You’ll complain that your spouse is mumbling, your spouse will accuse you of not listening, and so goes the relationship.

So if you’re starting to come around to the idea that maybe being able to hear isn’t so bad after all, I encourage you to start paying attention to some of the subtle cues of hearing loss.

Things like frequent irritability, complaints that the people around you are mumbling, etc.

I’ll go into more detail about these warning signs in my next column.

Martin Jurek is a Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner and co-owner of Campbell River Hearing Clinic with his wife Jana. To schedule a free hearing assessment, visit www.tohear.ca or call 250-914-3200.

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