The Living Sounds Blog

Kicked in the Pants

Mapping Out My Hearing Loss

So when I’d finally gotten the kick in the pants I needed, I made an appointment for a hearing test at Living Sounds Hearing Centre where Greg Nedelec is one of the owners. I’ve known Greg’s wife, Ronda, for some time and I ended up talking to Greg at an event and thought, yeah, this is what I need to do, these are great people, this is where I’m going to go.

When my appointment came, I went and I sat with Greg in his office to talk about why I was there and some of the challenges I was having with my hearing and he explained how the hearing tests would work. First he looked in my ears with an otoscope, to make sure there were no blockages in my ears. There weren’t.

Then we headed into the testing room. It’s probably similar to what you would imagine except not as dark and scary. It’s a small vault-like room that you sit in, a soundproof booth really. It’s what we, in radio, call a dead room because sound-wise, there’s nothing live in there at all. You clap your hands and the sound almost vanishes. You can kind of feel it – it’s a heavy quiet that descends on your head.

So I sit down in the chair and Greg puts a little rubber cone onto the end of a tube, that’s attached to a machine in the booth. He explains that the test is going to play sounds that get louder and test how my ear physically reacts to sound. He does my left ear, and then my right, and he makes a couple of notes. Then he put these things in my ears that are like ear buds, hands me a button and moves out of the booth, shutting the door behind him. He sits at a panel outside that I can see through the window.

Greg ran some frequencies and the test was simple. I’d hit the button whenever I heard something. Greg made little marks on a chart and I watched him knowing some of those marks meant I was missing some things. I wanted so badly to pass this test but knew as I was taking it that here were some noises I just wasn’t hearing.

Then we did words. He said similar words, like base and face or thought and sought to see if I could hear the s sound or the th. I repeated the words I heard back to him and, it turns out, many times I was incorrect. I wouldn’t hear the pluralization or the difference between certain letters. It took about 20 minutes, maybe, for the whole test.

When we went back to his office Greg entered some data into his computer and my hearing profile came up on screen, just like that. So there it was, all plotted out, my hearing loss.

It’s severe for some frequencies, and I’d been living with it…for a while. I was surprised. I knew I had a loss, I knew I was having trouble with higher frequencies, but I didn’t know it was quite as bad as it is. It was a little alarming.

But that’s the thing, you live with it so long you don’t realize how bad it is. I was missing more than I even realized. A lot more. Probably lots of other people are missing a lot more than they realize too. Now the real question is why? I don’t know.

Learn more about my journey to hearing health.

Walk through my first appointment at Living Sounds Hearing Centre with me.

2 Responses to Kicked in the Pants

  1. Alex Tighe says:

    Hi Gord I have heard the advertisements for Living sounds, and I know its past the time I need to conquer my what I call small hearing loss. It drives me crazy not to be able to hear people the first time. I have always had tremendous respect for you listening to you on the radio, and I hope to meet you someday.
    Regards Alex T

    • Gord Whitehead says:

      Alex, first of all, thank you for your comments. I hope you continue to follow my journey. Congratulations on realizing you need to take some action with your hearing health. This is a big step, but such an important one. Getting my hearing tested was a long time coming, and even now that I’ve taken action, I clearly remember the frustration and embarrassment of not understanding people. I see other people having the same trouble and I just want to say: just do it, get your hearing tested and find out what you can do about it. You’ll be happy you did and one day if we meet, you can tell me about it. If you’re looking for a chance to try out Living Sounds Hearing Centre and some of the products, there is a Demo Days event that will be taking place April 25 -27.

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As a full service hearing health care provider, Living Sounds Hearing Centre Ltd. offers a variety of hearing aid products, assistive listening devices and hearing services from clinic locations in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Barrhead, Drayton Valley, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Paul, Stony Plain, Vegreville, Westlock, and Westaskiwin.
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